Babies born at Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System during the month of December will be going home with hand knitted red hats. Last year, dedicated volunteers provided red hats for each one of the 145 babies born during December.

Baby Mia Izquierdo is one of the many early December babies born at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital so far this year. “I’m very grateful to the person who knitted this hat and will save it as a keepsake,” says Elyssa Gonzales, Mia’s mom. “One day I’ll be able to show her that this hat was made for her”.

Another couple ready to take their daughter home from the hospital is also grateful for the special gift. “I think it’s great that people take time out from their busy schedules to knit these adorable red hats, says dad Jesse Giovanetti. “She’s our early Christmas baby and she’ll be wearing the hat when she goes home”, says Megan Giovanetti, Baby Ava’s mom. Baby Ava will be celebrating her first Christmas with her parents and older “brother”, a dog named Tucker.

The red hat tradition at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital is made possible through the Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System Volunteer Service League. Volunteers donating their time and talents hand knit the caps with baby soft red yarn provided by the Service League.

The hat program is so popular during December, SVMHS launched a project to provide hats to babies born year round at the hospital. This year, volunteers have knitted, crocheted and sewn more than a thousand baby caps in various colors and patterns. Anyone interested in supporting the project can call SVMHS Volunteer Services at 831-755-0772.