Our Story

Founded to Fulfill Dreams

Ellie’s Hats started with the mission to brighten the day of children with cancer. We have done this by sending special packages of hats and other items to children and their families. We have sent over 1,900 packages to children across the country. Since starting we have added another part of our mission and that is to help local families, who have a  child with cancer and are struggling financially. As of Feb 2022, we have donated over $200,000 in checks to local families. We do this by working with the Social Workers at the PVS Clinic at Inova the Scharr Cancer Institute. We recently expanded this program to WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital in West Virginia. We are planning to add more locations as we receive more support.

About Ellie

Ellie is our inspiration. She was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the spring of 2013. By the time she entered kindergarten, she had lost most of her hair and was wearing hats to school. The hats allowed Ellie to express her personality. Even as a baby, Ellie loved to wear hats. Ellie’s positivity is unmatched and helps instill confidence in children just like her. She finished treatment in July 2015 and now has her blood tested twice a year.

Meet the Founder:
Jay Coakley

When Ellie started kindergarten at Woodburn Elementary School in Falls Church, Jay Coakley, her teacher, 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 took an interest in Ellie, thousands of kids across the country have received hats, other items and financial assistance. Jay currently works with Fairfax County Public Schools.

See the Impact

Our mission can be measured. Take a look at the impact we’ve already made in a few short years.