Connecting with Care Cap

VACCONWAY, Ark. (Nov. 13, 2008) – Hendrix College students will be joining with Care Cap Connections Saturday to prepare caps for cancer patients.

Sponsored by the college’s student-led Volunteer Action Committee, students will be working alongside Mary Philips, an Arkansas native who has established Care Cap Connections to provide hand-made caps (which could be characterized as head scarves) for chemotherapy patients. The event will be from 1-3:30 p.m. Saturday in the Trieshmann Gallery on campus. Hendrix’s VAC is inviting members of the community to come help.

Care Cap Connections is the result of Mary’s desire to help her sister Linda, diagnosed with terminal cancer, bald from harsh but life-extending chemotherapy. Frustrated by scratchy wigs, unattractive turbans plus the scarcity and expense of nice kerchiefs, Linda was further depressed. Baldness left her feeling “less than a woman,” Mary said, and her search for comfortable and pretty head coverings drew blanks.

Mary began sewing caps for her sister. Linda liked and appreciated the garments—so much that she began to give them away to others in chemo with her. The need began to snowball and demand far outstripped supply, with friends and ultimately volunteers coming together to help Mary create Care Cap Connections.

Today, hundreds of women, men and young people come together under Mary’s leadership to fabricate and deliver free of charge “Care Caps,” a health and human services support project that reaches thousands undergoing treatments in major cancer. The organization has grown nationwide, having prepared more than 11,000 caps to date that have been distributed to cancer patients.  

Care Caps uses donated fabric to sew caps, which are then donated to individual chemotherapy patients or shipped in bulk for distribution at major cancer centers around the country including: D. Anderson in Houston, Texas, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, Wilford Hall Air Force Medical Center, and the American Cancer Society’s Mid-South Region, to name a few.

Saturday’s event at Hendrix will be a “cut-in,” meaning it is a non-sewing event, according to Hendrix sophomore Michaela Fraser, an officer with VAC. Volunteers will be cutting, ironing, and prepping the fabric so that at the next “sew-in” they will be able to concentrate on sewing and therefore produce a large quantity of finished caps. 

“We would like to invite not only the Hendrix community, but the entire Conway community to come help on Saturday,” Fraser said. “Any show of support would be welcomed!”

Hendrix, founded in 1876, is a selective, residential, undergraduate liberal arts college emphasizing experiential learning in a demanding yet supportive environment. The college is among 165 colleges featured in the 2008 edition of the Princeton Review America’s Best Value Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu.