Working for You: Ellie’s Hats

By Jay Coakley

Ellie’s Hats is a tax-exempt nonprofit that was started in February 2014.

The mission of Ellie’s Hats is to donate hats to children battling cancer, to raise awareness of childhood cancer, and to support facilities that treat pediatric cancer patients.

Many area schools and children have supported Ellie’s Hats mission by having hat drives. Some children have had lemonade stands and shopped for toys for Inova Children’s Hospital with the money they raised.

While Ellie’s Hats sends hats to children across the country, it focuses much of its resources to support Inova Children’s Hospital Pediatric Unit, which is where many of the children living in Loudoun County are treated.

The organization initiated and supports The Hero Bag program. “Hero bags” are given to newly admitted pediatric cancer patients at Inova Children’s Hospital. The bags have items that the child and their parents can use while in the hospital. It also started monthly Family Dinner Nights, which provides meals donated by area restaurants to patients and their families.

Learn more about Ellie’s Hats at or through any of its social media accounts, which all use the name Ellie’s Hats.


[Jay Coakley, a teacher in Falls Church, founded Ellie’s Hats when his student, Ellie, started wearing a variety of hats to school after she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Reach Coakley at Working for You is a rotating column providing space for Loudoun’s nonprofit leaders to let readers know what they do and how they can help the cause. To participate in the program, email]



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