Giving a hug to children with cancer

Lifestyles Editor
By Carol Viau | Feb 18, 2013
Photo by: Carol Viau photos SPREADING WARMTH AND COMFORT — Angel Snugs founder Angi Farrugia shows Rebecca Nelson how to make snugs on the loom at the Waynesville gathering.  Below, from left, are Patti Crouse; host Keleigh Fonseca; Angel Snugs president, Angi Farrugia; and Louise Henderson at the knitting festivities.

Floridian Angi Farrugia braved the snow last weekend, visiting Waynesville to spread her mission of knitting “comfort” for children undergoing cancer treatment. At the invitation of Waynesville resident and friend Keleigh Fonseca, Farrugia taught 12 first-time knitters how to make “snugs” on a loom — warm fuzzy caps to be donated to children in need of comfort.

“Angel Snugs” is a nonprofit program of volunteers knitting hats and scarves to be donated to children undergoing cancer treatment. The program is donating snugs to the children in the pediatric oncology units of 28 hospitals in 12 states, including a request to Mission Hospital to be part of their pediatric oncology program.

“Snugs are what we're calling the items being donated, because they're so soft and snuggly and when wrapped around the children, it’s like a hug — hence, ‘snugs,’” said founder and president Angi Farrugia. “Children going through cancer treatments get cold during the treatments and most of the scarves are furry and fuzzy and comforting.”

Farrugia estimates there are 300 volunteers across the U.S. making Angel Snugs, and recently added groups in Spain and England. The movement is growing by leaps and bounds.

“We are always looking for anyone who knits, or wants to learn to knit, and wants to donate items to the program to be donated to the children,” said Farrugia.

In the Waynesville group learning to knit the caps, were teenagers, as well as their mothers. Farrugia has taught children as young as 5 and men (yes, men knit, too) and women “well into their 80s,” to knit the caps on easy-to-use looms. Farrugia is hoping to get scouts involved to earn merit badges and meet volunteer hour requirements.

For those who want to help, Angel Snugs is seeking volunteers to knit, donations of knitting supplies, monetary donations and gift cards from craft shops to purchase yarn and supplies.

Angel Snugs is a registered 501(c)(3), and contributions are tax-deductible. Visit or email Farrugia at for more information.