Ladies of Crochet is a group of Hispanic women in Atlanta who gather every Tuesday in January to make and donate hats for babies who are born with heart problems in the month of February. The project is headed by Marcy Ramos, a Mexican entrepreneur who also offers sewing and crocheting classes to groups of women throughout the rest of the year.
“There are 10 of us in the group. Last September we began knitting for babies who suffer from shaken baby syndrome, and thank God we made 365 hats,” said Ramos.
Her work with this project led to an interest in collaborating with the American Heart Association and The Children’s Heart Foundation. Every year, both organizations seek out individuals who can knit red hats for babies born in February. The hats help to send a message to parents, to empower them to live heart healthy lives and to help their children do the same, according to AHA.
Ramos has participated for almost a year with the “Little Hats, Big Hearts” project, which is offered throughout the country. Her desire to help extends to her group of students.
“Today we’re making hats for babies with heart conditions, and we meet every Tuesday in this bakery for three hours. They send me an address, and the whole group starts working, then we send it to the hospital,” said Ramos. “Other times we have sent them to Ohio. We take care of the shipping costs ourselves.”
Some of the women even knit at home, in their spare time, added Ramos, who insists that the project is a group effort of women who hail from all over Latin America.
“Colombians, Salvadorans, Mexicans … we have learned from each other how to come together and help one another,” assured Ramos.
The women also collaborate on other projects.
“About three years ago I got the idea to make hats for women with cancer. I went to a cancer prevention walk, and I realized there weren’t very many Latinas. So, with my little group of friends and students, I started reaching out to more women to come together. From there we made sashes and we handed them out at the walk,” said Ramos.
The group also works with programs which serve the elderly and children with financial needs.
“We just donated 50 hats to low-income children, and it was very exciting, because we donated toys, but they were more interested in the hats, to stay warm. It’s very rewarding, because when I tell my knitting group that we are going to make hats for a cause, they go to work and are enthusiastic,” explained Ramos.
Ramos’s husband even helps with the initiative. “He keeps a bag of hats in his car, and he gives them to people who might be cold and need one,” she said.
Ramos, who resigned from her regular job eight years ago to start a business and dedicate herself full time to knitting, said that the time she spends knitting with her group is therapeutic and helps her to develop meaningful relationships.
“It helped me to relax, to focus on something, more than anything else. It was like therapy for me,” said Esther Moreno, a Mexican woman who has known Ramos for two decades. .
For Claudia López, also from Mexico, the feeling is mutual.
“I was drawn to knitting. I’m not that great at it, but I love doing it, because it’s a ‘destresser.’ I can relax and learn. I come to spend time with Marcy and my friends. I love it,” she said.
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