By Jeff Gilliland
It was somewhere between the regular trips to health care facilities and the smiles she saw on her daughters’ faces when they received a new hair bow that Liticia Walker stumbled upon an idea to spread more smiles.
“I have worked in health care since I was 19 and when my girls get a new hair bow, I see how much it means to them, especially if they have characters and stuff on them,” said Walker, a 1999 graduate of Lynchburg-Clay High School who now resides in Greenfield.
On trips to Children’s hospitals where her daughter receives speech and gastroenterology treatments, Walker also saw premature babies and kids undergoing chemotherapy who had lost their hair.
So, for the past two years, she’s attached hair bows to hats or soft headbands; decorates them with feathers, characters and other items; then donates them for kids that have lost their hair due to illness to Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati and Columbus. Last year, she donated about 150 of her head accessories to the hospitals. This year, she donated 310.
“I’m hoping to increase the number every year, and to be able to donate to other hospitals with also donating crocheted hats to sick and preemie babies,” Walker said. “Children’s Hospital appreciates this donation very much and the smiles on the girls’ faces are priceless.”
Walker has not been alone in her efforts. She said local ladies who she has purchased hair bows from in the past have donated bows to her, a co-worker helps her, other ladies in the community have helped, and in all, she figures she’s received about $2,000 in donations.
“I want to thank everyone one that helped and donated, especially my husband, Joshua Walker (a 1997 Whiteoak High School graduate), Mike Castrucci Chevrolet, Amy’s Bows, and my co-worker Patty. They are truly amazing people. Thank you ever so much for your time and generosity. Without them, there’s no way I could make 300 and some by myself,” said Walker, who was Mrs. Highland County in the 2015 Mrs. Ohio Pageant.
Confirmation that what she was doing was making a difference came, Walker said, when a little girl walked through a Children’s Hospital door after receiving a treatment of some kind and saw the bows. Walker said the girl was disappointed when she was told the bows were not for sale, but then Walker gave her one.
“Her eyes just lit up. It was amazing,” Walker said.
In the time since she started her project, Walker said she’s gone online and learned how to make her own bows. She said she’d like to get more people involved and that she’d also like to expand to crocheting hats for boys. She’d also like to donate to more hospitals.
Anyone who would like to help can contact Walker on her Facebook page or call her at 740-542-0902.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.