Caps for Kids
Caps For Kids is a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving hats autographed by athletes, celebrities and other notables to children, adolescents and young adults who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments. The program was founded in 1993 by Dr. Stephen Heinrich. The program was created when Dr. Heinrich was treating a young man with cancer, who was also an avid Auburn University fan. He gave his patient a hat autographed by Auburn University football coach Terry Bowden and his father, Florida State University football coach, Bobby Bowden. When Dr. Heinrich realized how a simple hat could make a child suffering from a life-threatening disease so happy, he organized Caps For Kids to improve the spirits of young cancer patients nationwide.
Dr. Heinrich began to garner autographed hats and scarves from notable personalities to be given to the children with cancer that he treated. Publicity opened new avenues for acquiring hats and soliciting signatures. Dr. Heinrich was soon able to expand the program so that all children receiving chemotherapy for cancer at Children’s Hospital New Orleans could participate.
Today, Caps For Kids exists at more than 120 hospitals in the United States and Canada. The organization is run by a full-time staff based in New Orleans, with a volunteer Board of Directors. The Board of Directors and an Advisory Board help drive the organization's growth.