Monday, January 16, 2012

Lord Bless This Child...!

Not all kids are up to mischief, even though it may seem that way.

I, for one, am always pleased to find a story like this one that shows that there may just be hope for the human race yet! If this girl, and others like her, are an example of what's ahead, then I am indeed hopeful!

O'Fallon, Mo., girl, 9, turns hobby into benefit for kids with cancer


Photo by Susan Weich, sweich@post-dispatch.

Katie Hilke, 9, of O'Fallon, Mo., knits a cap like those she donated to St. Louis Children's Hospital to give to a child battling cancer. Katie also raised $510 for the hospital.

Katie Hilke is a chatty third-grader except when it comes to her plan to help sick children.

Instead of talking about how she raised $510, she shrugged her shoulders and giggled nervously before going back to work on her knitting.

Katie, who recently turned 9, started knitting when she was doing what she does a lot — waiting at the YMCA near her home in O'Fallon, Mo., while her older sister, Hannah, practiced with her swim team. Earlier this year, at one of those practices, Katie saw one of the moms knitting on a circular loom and asked her about it.

The mom showed Katie how to loop the yarn around the pegs, and Katie learned to use a special tool to turn the loops into stitches and eventually into a warm winter cap.

At first, Katie used the smallest looms to make hats for her American Girl doll. Then she used bigger ones and gave the caps as gifts at baby showers.

Katie went up another loom size and knitted some kid-size caps. She made plain ones and striped ones and some with flowers on the side or pom-poms on top. She made matching purple caps for herself and her friends at Immaculate Conception Grade School in Dardenne Prairie.

Katie might have kept on making the caps for just family and friends if she hadn't seen the pamphlet her dad brought home for a golf tournament. Her dad, Don Hilke, used to be a golf pro and still plays in a lot of tournaments.

The event on the brochure was sponsored by a foundation set up by former pro football player Mark Rypien. On the cover was a picture of Rypien posing with a young cancer patient who was wearing a cap that looked a lot like the ones that Katie knitted.

"Kate looked at it for a while and you could see the light go on in her head," said her mom, Debbie Hilke. "She said 'Do you think I could make hats for kids with cancer?' And I said, 'Of course you can.' "

Hilke said she figured her daughter would make maybe 10 hats at the most, but Katie knitted right past that number and kept going.

Every day Katie would come home from school, turn on the TV and work on her hats. She'd stop to do her homework, but later she'd go back to making hats.

If Katie had the time, she probably could have knitted a cap every day, Hilke said, but Katie had other obligations. She plays soccer, softball, basketball and she swims on her own team in the summer. She's a Brownie.

"She's a busy little girl," Hilke said.

By August, Katie had finished 37 caps. When her dad told his friend, Chris Buehrle, about it, Buehrle suggested that Katie sell the caps at his annual golf tournament, which raises money locally for cancer research. Any money Katie raised could be earmarked for children.

Katie agreed and set up a table on the 10th green where she peddled her caps for $10 apiece. She sold every cap, and people donated all but one of them back so Katie could give them to children who had lost their hair. Others just donated money.

Katie's mom arranged for Katie to meet with Erin Taake, project coordinator of special events at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Katie got a tour of several common areas of the hospital but because of patient privacy and a rule that says visitors have to be at least 16, Katie didn't get to meet any of the children who got one of her hats.

Taake said the hospital gets donations a few times a year from groups of children, like a grade school, but usually not from just one child.

"For somebody, especially someone as young as Katie, to initiate this and make the items herself is unique," she said. "And the caps were so nice; it was very impressive that she was able to make these."

Katie's mom, of course, was beaming at the praise for her daughter, who plans to knit and sell the caps again next year.

"Her dad and I are so proud, and it was neat that she came up with the idea herself," she said.

As for Katie, she listened to her what he mom said, lowered her blue eyes to the loom and got back to work.

Read more:

Sorry for the length of the post, but I thought it important enough to share this story with you. God bless this child, her heart and her family!

Coffee on the patio this morning! I feel it's warm enough, don't you?


Rob In His Bunker said...

Truly a blessing. Yes you can still find good people around here, besides us like minded folk ;)

Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

Wow! A really great kid. Her parents must be so proud of her.I wish there were more great stories about young people.

No coffee on the patio today, it's only 7 degrees outside!

Anonymous said...

That is one sweet kid! Rare to find someone so young with so much compassion for others. Her parents should be very proud.

linda m said...

That is one very special young lady. Her parents have a lot to be thankful for and kudos to the parents for raising such a wonderful person. Thank you for sharing this positive story today.

JOJO said...

What a wonderful child. Her parents did a great job raising their children. Keeping kids active is so very important these days.
But deep down in Katie is a very beautiful heart.

Coffee on your patio would be better than my wet cold porch.

Dizzy-Dick said...

There may be hope for the human race after all.

tea4too0 said...

Inspiring. Does a heart good to read stuff like this, God bless her. Come have coffee on my porch, it's 60 degrees at 10:27am and tie yer hat down, wind is 20-25mph.

HermitJim said...

Hey Rob...
Certainly does my heart good to hear about her!

Bet Mom and Dad are really proud.

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Phyllis...
We could certainly use more of them! It's a feel-good story, for sure!

Thanks for dropping by today!

Hey Anon 7:23...
Young body, old soul! Sure made me want to do more, ya know?

Lots of good Karma being built up in that family.

Thanks for the visit this morning!

Hey Linda...
Sure is nice to find something so positive for a change.

I'm gonna go look for more like this!

Thanks for coming by for a visit today!

Hey JoJo...
We certainly need more folks with kind hearts, especially the younger ones!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by this morning!

Hey Dizzy...
One can only hope! One can only hope, buddy!

This is a better sign for the human race than we have seen for a while!

Thanks for dropping in today!

HermitJim said...

Hey Tea...
That's not too bad! It's right at 70 today here, but I have a feeling it may get quite warm for this time of year!

It does seem like it's been windy this year, doesn't it?

Thanks so much for coming over today!

Sissy said...

Little Miss Katie and other children such as she are the light of our world coming. It sure makes the heart warm to hear of things like this. Just think how much can be accomplished with her outlook. She would serve well as a future president possibly. Thank you for sharing with us, HermitJim.