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TriCounty Health Department, in collaboration with Uintah County Teen Outreach Program, is raising awareness for congenital heart defects by collecting infant sized red hats for Little Hats, Big Hearts.

Teen Outreach Program (TOP), a program that is offered to youth after school through TriCounty Health Department, in both Uintah and Duchesne counties.

TriCounty Health Department’s Health Educator, Katie Lucio, is spearheading the drive and said, “ TOP teaches youth how to make healthy choices, with a big component being community service learning (CSL).”

“Youth do 20 hours of CSL that they choose as a group,” Lucio said. “Little Hats, Big Hearts is a project organized by American Heart Association in conjunction with the Children’s Heart Foundation with a goal to empower moms to live a heart-healthy life, encourage their children to do the same, all while bringing awareness about congenital heart defects.”

This year, Uintah County TOP youth chose to participate in Little Hats, Big Hearts to bring awareness to the Uintah Basin communities about congenital heart defects.

“Our goal is to be able to donate 50 red crocheted or knitted hats to be given to newborns during the month of February,” Lucio said.

All donations need to be in cotton or acrylic yarn and submitted by Jan. 5, 2018.

TriCounty Health Department donations will also include skeins of red yarn that the youth can use to make infant hats at home prior to donation.

TriCounty Health Department will have donation boxes at the Roosevelt and Vernal offices, giving the community an opportunity to pull together, raise awareness and provide warmth for babies born in Utah.

The donation of red hats is part of celebrating American Heart Month. Little Hats, Big Hearts started in 2014, in Chicago, Illinois, raising 300 hats the first year. Since then, the donations have spread throughout 40 states, and now right here in the Uintah Basin.

TriCounty Health is located in Vernal at 133 S. 500 E. and in Roosevelt at 409 S. 200 E.

For more information, contact Katie Lucio at 435-247-1174.