Torrance >> Louis Contero grabs the handle of the iron with his good hand and lowers it onto the red, blue and yellow felt hat.He counts silently in his head before he lifts the iron and takes the hat out, gently placing it in a cardboard box with hundreds like it. Born with cerebral palsy, Contero’s physical abilities are limited and his walker is never more than a few feet away. Sometimes, he experiences pain and his left hand is extremely limited.

Every Monday and Wednesday, Contero, along with a few of his classmates who are developmentally disabled, volunteer at Happy Hats for Kids in Hospitals, a Torrance-based nonprofit that makes felt hats for children in hospitals across the country, especially cancer ward patients.


“I never thought that I would have an opportunity to give back to kids,” Contero said. “One day, my career teacher came to me and told me about Happy Hats for Kids. He asked me if I wanted to help him out and I said I sure would. I appreciate giving back because I was in the same situation and I would want people to be doing the same thing for me.

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