Perfectly interwoven to make a difference!
In 2018, Shira Blumenthal, founder of Hat not Hate, was inspired to take action and make a meaningful difference in the lives of young people. Her idea was to ask knitters and crocheters all over the world to make blue hats. Why blue hats? Blue represents awareness and solidarity and is the color to wear in support of bullying prevention.
As a young person, Shira herself experienced bullying. She recalled, “When I was in the 4th grade, a classmate targeted me every day. Anything that she could make fun of, she did. It was the worst feeling I had ever known, ultimately leading me to switch schools. A few years later, I ran into the girl who had bullied me. When she asked if I remembered her, I was shocked. I thought, ‘Of course, how could I forget?’ She had no idea about the negative impact of her actions. I still remember that pain, which has helped me relate to others experiencing bullying.”
Shira’s experiences motivated her, as an adult, to inspire young people to be the change and bring awareness to this epidemic plaguing our children and young people. She explained, “Sometimes, in the moment, things can feel so challenging and dark. I want people to know that it’s possible to come out of hard situations much stronger, and to be able to look at them in a different light.”
Blumenthal is a dreamer with BIG goals. Her 2019 goal is to give away 25,000 blue hats for National Bullying Prevention Month – October. Be Strong has partnered with Lion Brand Yarn Company, Hat Not Hate, Shira, and knitters and crocheters all over the world to bring these hats to Be Strong/We Dine Together partner schools. In addition, every student in attendance at the Be Strong LIVE Tour in Houston, Texas on October 17th will receive one of these hand-crafted, love-filled hats.
“With the love and intention put into each of these hats, the hope is that, in the hands of students, they will serve as a symbol of awareness, peace and solidarity,” shared Blumenthal. “Each hat is handmade, meaning every single hat is different. This ties into the message of Hat Not Hate and Be Strong – we’re all human, and each one of us is different.”
Shira Blumenthal added, “We value Be Strong’s student-led, empowering approach to helping students and our communities. It was clear that a partnership between Hat Not Hate and Be Strong would be very powerful and impactful.”
“When receiving the call about Hat Not Hate, I was very eager to speak with Shira. I’ve found that a woman on a mission to help children is a woman I like to know,” said Ashleigh Cromer, executive director of Be Strong. “Within moments of speaking with Shira, it was clear this isn’t about the hats. It’s about saving and changing lives. She’s authentic, kind, motivated and generous.”
Not only an advocate for bullying prevention, Lion Brand Yarn donated to the efforts and impact of Be Strong. Much more to come on this partnership…
About Lion Brand Yarn
Lion Brand Yarn Company is a fifth-generation family-owned business whose mission is “creating a more colorful, connected, and giving world.” Lion Brand has been inspiring, educating, and serving knitters and crocheters since 1878. To find out more about Lion Brand, please visit lionbrand.com.
For more information about Hat Not Hate, please visit www.hatnothate.org