Hats off for girl’s drive to aid sick chil­dren

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By William J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­line.com

Fifth­grader Rachel Kahn in Oc­to­ber ini­ti­ated a Mad Hat­ter cam­paign to ben­e­fit St. Jude Chil­dren’s Re­search Hos­pi­tal — and she doesn’t want to put a lid on it now.

The drive to get new hats for chil­dren who have lost their hair from can­cer treat­ment will con­tinue Satur­day dur­ing the Sin­terk­laas cel­e­bra­tion in the vil­lage. Kahn will have a box set up in front of Rhinebeck Bank on Mont­gomery Street/U.S. Route 9 as part of a cup­cake sale she is con­duct­ing to raise funds.

“Rachel and I use to do an af­ter-school class a few years ago and did a Mad Hat­ter tea party and we did hats,” said Rosie Kahn, Rachel’s mother.

“There was a lit­tle girl in her grade last year that was un­der­go­ing chemo­ther­apy and the girl was com­pletely bald and ... for Rachel that re­ally made an im­pres­sion on her,” she said. “She had wanted to do this last year but, ... I kind of shied away from it be­cause I thought she was too young to talk about it. This year when she wanted to do it, we did it and with an on­line web­site through St. Jude’s. She’s raised over $1,000 through that.”

The drive for head cov­er­ing be­gan on Oct. 6 in recog­ni­tion of the num­bers on the hat of the Mad Hat­ter char­ac­ter in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Ad­ven­tures in Wonderland,” which was pub­lished in 1865.

“She made a box and put it as (Chan­cel­lor Liv­ingston Ele­men­tary School) with a sign ... and col­lected 45 to 50 hats,” Rosie Kahn said.

“They were all kinds of dif­fer­ent knit hats,” she said. “Some of the teach­ers ac­tu­ally made them and they’re beau­ti­ful. She had a whole as­sort­ment for both boys and girls.”

Rachel Kahn said she was in­spired by the need for

chil­dren to stay warm dur­ing and im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing treat­ments.

“It (was) get­ting close to the winter, so I thought that it would be nice to do a lit­tle some­thing spe­cial for their heads be­cause it gets cold dur­ing the winter,” Rachel said. “I thought it would be some­thing fun to do and help­ful.”

The drive ac­cepts only new and un­used hats that will be sealed in in­di­vid­ual zip lock bags be­fore be­ing sent to St. Jude Chil­dren’s Re­search Hos­pi­tal, which is in Mem­phis, Tenn.

In a let­ter to class­mates, Rachel ex­plained that the hos­pi­tal pro­vides free care for chil­dren.

“St. Jude is a spe­cial place for kids that are very sick with dif­fer­ent types of can­cers and lots of other very se­ri­ous ill­nesses,” she said. “St. Jude is spe­cial be­cause they do spe­cial things for kids and fam­i­lies that other hos­pi­tals can’t, like do­ing re­search and in­vent­ing treat­ments for can­cers for kids, giv­ing fam­i­lies a place to stay when their child is in the hos­pi­tal and giv­ing all med­i­cal treat­ments to kids free.”

She added that she was also im­pressed with how much the hos­pi­tal tries to put pa­tients as ease dur­ing treat­ment.

“St. Jude gives fam­i­lies a place to stay when their child is get­ting treated,” she said. “They also give fam­i­lies meals. They give car and bus rides when kids need treat­ment. If you live far away, they can help pay for your air­plane ticket.”

PHOTO PRO­VIDED

Rachel Kahn wears a hat pro­mot­ing her ef­forts to get hats for pa­tients at St. Jude Chil­dren’s Re­search Hos­pi­tal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.