MEMPHIS, Tenn., November 06, 2013 (NNS) – Navy commands worldwide will soon receive a letter requesting donations of Navy ball caps to support the Navy’s Caps for Kids program.
Administered by the Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO) in Memphis, Tenn., the Caps for Kids program is entering its 16th year as one of the Navy’s most consequential outreach programs. Since 1999, Navy commands have donated thousands of unit ball caps, which are then presented by Sailors to children who are fighting serious illnesses in hospitals across the country. The program is made possible exclusively through donations from wardrooms, Chiefs’ messes, first class associations, spouse clubs and similar organizations throughout the Navy.
A typical Caps for Kids visit involves a small group of Sailors visiting up to 50 children who are inpatients in a children’s hospital. Sailors present the caps to the children and spend time talking with and encouraging them.
NAVCO coordinates between 25-50 Caps for Kids visits each year, making all the arrangements for the visit and sending donated ball caps to inland Navy activities across the country to present them. NAVCO also supports units wishing to use their own ball caps, rather than sending them to NAVCO, to conduct a visit independently at a children’s hospital near their unit’s homeport. For all visits, NAVCO provides advice and guidance to ensure the program is carried out in accordance with all applicable instructions and guidelines, particularly those related to patient privacy.
“Caps for Kids is not only one of our most successful outreach programs, it is also one of the most personally rewarding programs,” said Cmdr. Kim Marks, NAVCO director. “Nothing beats the feeling you get from the kids’ smiles when you give them a command ball cap.”
According to Gary Ross, the NAVCO Caps for Kids program manager, approximately 1,000 ball caps are needed to sustain the program for an entire year. However, he added that no donation is too small, and even the gift of a single ball cap can make a difference in the life of a sick child.
Commands interested in making a donation to the Caps for Kids program can send them by mail to:
Navy Office of Community Outreach
Attn: Caps for Kids Program
5722 Integrity Dr., BLDG 456-3
Millington, TN 38054
For more information on the Caps for Kids Program, contact NAVCO at (901) 874-5800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more news from Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO), visit www.navy.mil/local/navco/.