One retirement community is inspiring joy at Golisano Children’s Hospital in Lee County. We looked at how community members are helping patients put on a smile by putting on a custom cap.
The helping hands from local seniors is creating a comfort for Southwest Florida children undergoing treatment that’s often stressful or scary.
“Some of us have taken caps home to do,” Janet Prior said. “I can do about 1 cap in about 20 minutes.”
Prior started volunteering with the group Caps for Kids nearly 20 years ago in October 1999.
“The materials are donated or purchased by Lee Health ,” Prior said.
Then, each cap made by volunteers in Cypress Cove go to the children at Golisano.
Michele Wasserlauf, Cypress Cove Exec Director hopes it inspires others, “I think this sends a message that everybody can help in many ways during their life, and never stop giving back to the community.”
“I worked in the medical field with children,” Prior said. “And I think it makes a tremendous positive effect on the child and helps relax them and forget about whatever their pain may be in.”
And on the group’s 20th anniversary, volunteers have totaled more than 20,000 caps made for child patients.
“Sometimes the doctors and nurses even put them on to relax the children more,” Prior said. “It puts off that tension before the surgery.”