Doris Bender, 80, says it's relaxing to crochet hats for the little ones at Meritus Medical Center

By Char Adams
March 05, 2019 05:21 PM

Doris Bender, 80, had a lot of time on her hands after retirement. So, she decided to devote her time to the little ones at Maryland’s Meritus Medical Center.

Three years ago, when Bender, of Sharpsburg, Maryland, was looking for a hobby, her daughter, Terrie Grim, recommended she should learn how to crochet.

“My husband watches the ball games [in the evening] and I needed something to do,” Bender told Good Morning America. “I couldn’t just sit there and watch the ball game when I wasn’t interested in it.”

“[My daughter] said, ‘Why don’t you make hats for newborns?’ and she called and nurse and that’s how we got started.”

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Since then, Bender has crocheted and given at least 2,064 hats to the medical center for newborn babies (she delivers 60 to 100 hats in each batch), according to The Herald-Mail. She often makes them festive, crocheting hats to suit the holidays including Christmas, Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day and more.

Up until last month, Bender had never been able to see the infants in her hats. But n Valentine’s Day, Bender got to meet twins Macie and Alina and was able to hold the little girls as they slept in their white and pink hats, according to the Herald-Mail.

“They love them,” clinical manager Lori Sprecher told the publication of the babies and Bender’s hats. “We love having the hats. They help to regulate the temperature of the baby. The hats really help with that.”

Bender told GMA that she crochets for about three hours each night and any time she “needs a break” during the day. And it doesn’t seem like she plans on stopping any time soon.

“It relaxes me,” she said. “It’s what keeps me going.”

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