The members of the GFWC Gloucester County Women’s Club located in New Jersey have been knitting and crocheting blue hats for the #HATNOTHATE project. Members recently completed 63 hats.

In 2018, this program was started by Shira Blumenthal who decided to create an anti-bullying campaign called #HATNOTHATE. While her passion for preventing bullying was personal, bullying is, unfortunately, also a universal problem.  Around one in four kids in the United States is bullied, and recurring bullying can lead to depression, anxiety, and suicidal behavior.

The concept of #HATNOTHATE has been to encourage knitters and crocheters to knit, crochet, and loom blue hats and to donate them to the cause. Blue was chosen as it represents solidarity and is the color to wear in support of bullying prevention.

The purpose of #HATNOTHATE is to educate students about anti-bullying and tell them how they themselves can make a change and make a difference just by being kind.

The organization is working with an educational director to create an assembly program to be presented at schools all over the United States during October, National Bullying Prevention Month.  The hats would be brought to the event for students to wear throughout the month, empowering them to be strong and stand up to bullying, and to feel encouraged by the love and purpose with which these handmade hats are created.

Since the inception of #HATNOTHATE, the organization has collected over 90,000 hats, find out more about their mission here.