Ellie’s Hats is a 501 (c)(3), that provides hats to pediatric cancer patients and their siblings. But we also help in many other ways! We try to meet the needs of these families in the most heart tugging ways possible, whether fulfilling a local “wish”, helping families financially, providing little fun escapes for the kids and their families, etc. Whatever we can do to make these kids’ days a little brighter, we do it! The impact we have made in Northern Virginia in their 4 short years of existence is phenomenal! We have sent over 1,000 special packages to children across the country. We also include hats for any sibling because often they feel left out. Our tag is “More Than Just a Hat”. There are many reasons for our tagline. To the children who receive a package of hats it helps to brighten their day.
Some of the other things we have done.
- We have donated $1,000’s worth of gift cards and checks
- We started and continue to support the The “Hero Bag” Program at Inova Children’s Hospital. (A special bag is given to every newly admitted pediatric cancer patient)
- We supply the food and drinks for the nourishment room and the PSV Clinic in Falls Church
- We donated $10,000 to The Pediatric Oncology Family Support Fund in 2016
- We donated $10,000 to Novant Hemby Children’s Hospital in 2016 to help them remodel their treatment room.
- We gave three $1,000 Gift Certificates from a local auto repair shop to local families.
- We helped a teenager go to a Wizards game and get to meet Steph Curry.
- We had Kirk Cousins record a special video to a high school senior who was recently diagnosed with cancer.
The Inspiration: Ellie
Ellie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the spring of 2013. By the time she entered kindergarten, that fall, she had lost most of her hair so she was wearing hats to school everyday. The hats allowed Ellie to express her personality. Even as a baby, Ellie loved to wear hats so wearing them during her treatment wasn’t much of a change. The first year was difficult for Ellie, but she always tried to put on a brave face. Ellie finished treatment in July 2015 and is now having her blood tested every month. Ellie played soccer this past spring and continues to improve.
The Founder: Jay
Ellie was not yet in kindergarten when her family learned she had cancer. The subsequent treatments resulted in Ellie losing her hair. Ellie started kindergarten that fall at Woodburn Elementary School in Falls Church and her teacher, Jay Coakley, noticed her affinity for “fun and cheery hats”. Jay organized a hat drive to provide Ellie with a broader selection of hats to wear and Ellie’s Hats was born! By utilizing the power of social media, Jay spread the word about Ellie’s Hats. Thanks to the hard work of the individuals who, like Jay, took an interest in Ellie and her hats, thousands of kids across the country have received new hats.