It was started seven years ago as a way to raise awareness of childhood cancer in Middle Georgia schools.
“Our schools are some of the first to hear about a newly diagnosed child,” says Jay’s Hope founder, Cindy Gaskins. “We knew if we could inform administrators and teachers about the disease, they could help Jay’s Hope reach out to those families to get them the help they need.”
On Hats 4 Hope day, students donate one dollar to Jay’s Hope and get to wear their favorite hat for the day. The hats serve a two-fold purpose, they are a visual reminder of what pediatric oncology patients go through during treatment and a way for students to show support for their peers battling the disease.
“It’s always fun for kids to get to wear a hat to school because it’s a rule, you can’t wear hats,” says preschool director Keisha Pitts. “So, for them to be able to do that and give a donation to an important cause is really great.”
For Hartley, it was especially meaningful because her 10-year-old son, Trane, is a childhood cancer survivor. He was diagnosed with leukemia just before his second birthday.
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