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Thousands of red hats knitted for newborns at Northside-Forsyth


* For more information about the Little Hats, Big Hearts projects, visit or email

* To learn more about Northside Hospital Auxiliary, visit or call (404) 851-8707.

CUMMING — Valentine’s Day may be over, but the local hospital still has hearts on the mind.

American Heart Association volunteers knitted and donated nearly 5,000 red hats on Feb. 10 to babies born at Northside Hospital-Forsyth and Atlanta to raise awareness of heart disease during American Heart Month.

The Little Hats, Big Hearts project worked with the Northside Hospital Auxiliary to get the hats to newborns, in which congenital heart defect is the most common birth defect in babies. About one in 100 is affected.

“In 2015, Northside Hospital delivered more babies than any other community hospital in the nation,” said Carol Kratochvil, volunteer services manager at the hospital.

“We screen all newborns for congenital heart defects before they go home. The hats will help us educate about the importance of these screenings.”

Volunteers mailed knitted and crocheted red hats from Alabama, Puerto Rico, Mississippi and the U.S. Virgin Islands in response to online requests, craft store flyers and word of mouth, according to Jan Murphy, director of affiliate meeting management for the American Heart Association.

Murphy led the project in Georgia.

“Each hat is completely unique and different,” she said. “The reasons people did it were very touching, and there’s a lot of passion when it comes to newborns. We hope to keep this project growing.”