hats with tags

Susan creates hats with personalized messages (below) that she gives to low-income children, the elderly and the homeless.

Susan Fierro-Baig, RN, 8th Floor Pavilion, creates hats that provide warmth for heads and hearts. Susan personalizes each hat with an uplifting word, like hope, strength or faith. St. Joseph television station KQ2 recently selected Susan to receive $500 through its Pay It Forward program. One of Susan’s former nursing instructors at Missouri Western State University nominated her for the award.

Six months ago, Susan created Hats for Humanity Ministry as a way to help low-income children, the elderly and the homeless. “I want everyone to feel uplifted and loved, especially those in need. I hope to provide not only for people’s physical needs but also for their emotional and spiritual needs,” Susan said.

Susan sells hats to the public in adult and children’s sizes. Those proceeds help support her mission. Thanks to other volunteers, she has donated close to 100 hats to the YWCA and to the homeless in St. Joseph, where she lives.

Susan with loom

Susan teaches others how to loom knit hats. She encourages NKCH nurses to get involved as they can earn career advancement ladder points.

Expanding Her Reach

She also has taught classes on how to loom knit a hat, set up a YouTube channel with instructional videos and established a Facebook page.

As a mother of seven and a grandmother of three, Susan’s time is precious, and with any spare moment she can be found with a loom and yarn. “I carry my bag of supplies with me all of the time, so I always have a hat started,” she laughed.

This year, Susan hopes to establish Hats for Humanity Ministry as a nonprofit organization, which will allow her to apply for grant money to further expand her program. Susan would love to see others make and donate hats to support the cause.