What We Do

MORE THAN JUST A CHARITY

From one person to hundreds… From one Care Cap™ to thousands…

The story of Care Cap Connections™ is the story of Mary Philips’ desire to help her sister, diagnosed with terminal cancer, bald from harsh but life-extending chemotherapy.

Mary could sew expertly; Linda could not. Frustrated by scratchy wigs, unattractive turbans plus the scarcity and expense of nice kerchiefs, Linda was further depressed. Baldness left her feeling “…less than a woman”; her search for comfortable and pretty head coverings drew blanks.

Mary sewed samples. Linda liked and appreciated the garments—so much that she began to give them away to others in chemo. The need began to snowball. Demand far outstripped supply.

Friends volunteered to help Mary with the project. Others heard and joined the experience.

Today, more than 1,500 women, men and young people come together under Mary’s leadership to fabricate and deliver free of charge, “Care Caps™”, a health and human services support project that reaches thousands undergoing treatments in major cancer centers.

Her vision and leadership has developed “The Care Cap Way” of cutting, pinning, sewing and packaging comfortable kerchiefs. In five years, over 34,000 caps have been made for chemotherapy patients and shipped to the American Cancer Socity and cancer clinics nationwide.

To Mary and her helpers, a cap is a person; many, many people now receive their encouragement and love – people not even known by the workers.

In mid-2007 and 2011, Mary accepted three awards on behalf of her volunteers: the noted Arkansas Community Service trophy and citations from the Arkansas State Senate and House of Representatives. Following the 2007 presentation, in an off-the-cuff comment, the NBC television program moderator could be seen and heard on camera – his grin was infectious as he exclaimed, “That’s good stuff!”

And so it is – “good stuff” – and Mary believes it must continue.

Care Cap Connections™ is a division of Volunteer America – 1776, designated by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) public charity. All gifts are tax deductible. No officer, Board member or project partner is paid and no goods are sold.

In 2007, Mary’s sister, Linda, died. Mary’s dream and vision have not. Individuals, corporations and foundations are urged to keep this unique project alive.

"A WORD ABOUT OUR GROUPS:  Mary travels regularly from our initial team at Fairfield Bay to Greenbrier, Jacksonville, Little Rock, Hot Springs and Hot Springs Village-all in Arkansas. Those groups work one day from 9-2.  She also has volunteers at the Department of Community Correction's  womens unit at Pine Bluff. This team produces Care Caps from about 7-1 for two days each month. Every group is enthusiastic and productive. Usually, she overnights at 5 of the 7 locations. Recently, thanks to donors, she was able to replace 5 of her 19 machines, finally worn out by years of operation. Many, many hands touched those faithful Janomes."

from INGRAM PHILIPS, administrator