Caps for Kids
What do Oprah, Bruno Mars and Kyrie Irving all have in common? They are all Cap Heroes with Caps For Kids, a national nonprofit organization that provides kids with cancer with a ball cap autographed by their favorite celebrity. Caps For Kids works with more than 150 pediatric oncology medical facilities around the country and has reached thousands of children.
“To a child who loses their hair as a result of cancer treatment, a cap signed by their hero can give them strength,” says Jamie O’Berry, national program director with Caps for Kids. “It makes them feel special. Many kids tell us it’s as though their celebrity hero is right there beside them in every treatment, rooting for them.”
O’Berry has a background in family relations, child and family studies, and social work. She began her career locally as a pediatric oncology social worker.
“While there, I embarked on a journey that would eventually lead me to what I now know I was meant to do,” she says. “Being able to make a difference in the lives of children who are battling the hardest fight of their life means everything to me.”
O’Berry once had the pleasure to hand deliver a cap to a very special young boy named Avery at a local children’s hospital. He was with his dad receiving outpatient chemotherapy. She walked into the room and handed him his signed Drew Brees cap.
“When he saw who signed his cap his eyes lit up and his smile filled the whole room,” she says. “His dad couldn’t stop talking about how cool it was. He said that his son had been feeling self-conscious since losing his hair, so he started wearing hats to school every day. The young boy couldn’t wait to show his cap to the rest of his family and his friends at school.”
Included in the list of local celebrities that have signed caps for the organization are numerous Saints and Pelicans players, including Ellen DeGeneres and Drew Brees.
The organization encourages local businesses who would like to support the organization to hold a “Cap Day” to raise funds and awareness.
“For a donation of $1, students, teachers and administrators can wear a fun or favorite cap throughout the school day,” O’Berry says. “You can even award prizes for the funniest hat, the most creative hat, or the hat with the most school spirit. Cap Days can also be held to support a student or teacher who may be battling cancer.”
Your business can have a Cap Day too. For a donation of just $5, your employees can wear the cap of their choice to work. In addition, many businesses help motivate their employees to participate by matching their donations.
“Not all heroes wear capes, but some of them do wear caps,” says Mark Mayer, president of Peter Mayer, an integrated marketing agency. “We wore our favorite ball caps to work to show our support and to donate to Caps For Kids. We’ve been supporting this organization for many years. It’s amazing how such a small gesture of support can mean so much to so many.”
For more information go to www.capsforkids.org