His first donation came from Tajao, in the South of Tenerife, and from there it has not stopped. Many people have been involved and want to collaborate in the project of Benito Hernández Cruz, ‘the lord of the hats’, as he is known in his municipality, La Guancha, for whom knitting has become the best therapy at 89 years.
In fact, the original idea came from Leila, his granddaughter, who started him in this work that continued without stopping while he was admitted to the Hospital del Norte in Icod de los Vinos for a couple of months. It was a doctor from the center who baptized him as ‘Benedict the one with the hats’ because he gave all the staff and the nurses one and there were those who were lucky and also won a scarf.
He did the same when he was in a clinic in Puerto de la Cruz. “I was lying on a bed and knitting all the time,” he emphasizes.
Given that it has become a true passion for him, the young woman suggested that he make caps and donate them to cancer patients, “those heroes and heroines who face cancer every day,” he says, and to all the associations that fight against this sickness. The only thing he asks for is citizen collaboration so that they donate wool and Benito can weave the best gift for this winter: hats against cancer.
Benito, his daughter Ana Elia and Leila form a great team and in order to coordinate the work, give an account of the progress and thank the collaboration of many people they have created the Facebook page ‘benitoeldelosgorros’ and on Instagram, the profile benitocruz2021 in which they go uploading the daily progress and thanking each of the people who donate wool since without them it would be impossible to carry out the project.
Under the hastag #ponteungorroesteinvierno, Benito’s intention is to donate this garment, so necessary in the winter months, to the two hospitals in Tenerife or so that people can buy their hats and the money raised goes to the different associations.
Covid-19 has complicated things a bit and the health and security protocol that is followed to fight the pandemic is very strict. They have not yet been given an answer from the institutions on whether or not they accept their project, although the family guarantees compliance with all sanitary measures during the process and that each cap will be delivered closed, in an individual bag and previously washed. In addition, the only one who handles the wool is his grandfather, Leila emphasizes.
Benito is no stranger to cancer as his wife passed away from this disease. He knows that many people suffer and battle in silence and his goal is to help ease that pain.
Leila wants to make it clear that her grandfather would not keep anything since the initiative does not pursue any economic objective but is totally altruistic and that it is not only his grandfather, who is the one who creates the hat, “but of everyone who wishes to participate. and in that sense, the more there are, the better ”.
People who want to join can contact Benito through his Facebook page or through Leila’s phone number (663 95 32 65).
He assures that in just ten days the response that #ponteungorroesteinvierno has received is wonderful. One of the most exciting acts has been that of a girl who donated the wool of her grandmother, who died ten years ago, because she thought that the best destination they would have would be the hands of Benito.
Another woman, Leila says, collected money from many of her acquaintances and donated wool that she bought in establishments on the island “which are also having a hard time with the pandemic. It is a chain of favors in which we all do our bit ”, insists the young woman.
“The wool donation is for him to continue making more hats, have the satisfaction of collaborating with this idea and at least make him feel that he has done something nice for other people. It is a great gesture that is lacking today, to help and empathize ”, he points out.
Meanwhile, at 89 years old, Benito continues, non-stop, weaving dreams, like hats against cancer.