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Home : Community : Charity Connection : Stories : Newborn baby hats and blankets
 

Stories from the Heart

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Caring and Sharing

While so many of us love making things for ourselves and our families, many in the Lion community go further, creating for those in need. Join us in this section and be touched by these true stories of caring and sharing submitted by Lion Brand readers.

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Newborn baby hats and blankets

I became a volunteer for Hospice of Kitsap County in 2006. I lost my brother to cancer in 2005. After his death, I decided the best way I could honor him would be to volunteer with hospice. I've been with them nearly eight years now. I mostly go into patient homes so the caregivers can have a break to go shopping, see a movie or in some cases, they just want to take a nap without having to worry about whether their loved one will need them. Knowing I'm there allows the caregiver to get some real, restful sleep.

I enjoy knitting with a loom or crocheting. One of my first patients was frequently cold so I made her a thick warm scarf she could wear in or out of bed. She loved it and refused to take it off so it could be washed. When I found out about that, I made her another so she would be able to switch off when one was in the laundry!

It wasn't long before I heard that baby blankets were needed so I started making those too. In the evening my husband and I like to watch some T.V. and I enjoy knitting on the loom or crocheting as we watch our programs. Just recently I began making baby hats to go with the blankets. To be honest, I haven't just used Lion Brand yarn. I try to get the softest but yet sturdiest yarn I can find. The baby blankets and hats may have to go through the hospital laundry which can be harsh. I'm allergic to wool but the cotton or silk yarns are soft and pretty. Once, one of the hospice social workers sent me a message to let me know how appreciative some parents were to have been given one of the blankets I had made for their baby. When the baby died, the parents were able to take the blanket their little one had been wrapped in, home with them. I was so glad that in a very small way, the blanket I made gave them some small measure of comfort.

I have degenerative disc disease and ended up having to leave a job I loved as a special education para-educator to go on disability. I had to find things to keep me busy. Over the years I've made and given many shawls, scarves and granny square blankets to family, friends and patients. Because I'm on disability, it's sometimes difficult to be able to afford to purchase all the yarn I need. I've been lucky in that some of my friends have occasionally given me their leftover yarn from projects they've made. Because of that, many of the blankets I've made are bright and colorful.

I have no idea how many items I've made and donated. It never occurred to me to keep track. My best friend became a hospice volunteer too after she retired two years ago. She started a group of three or four retired ladies called " Loving Hearts" who knit or crochet lap blankets for the patients at the Hospice care center. I'm not sure but I think they had an article in the local paper about them. They've made and given hundreds of blankets to the care center. I haven't joined Loving Hearts because I've been making and donating baby things for so long and they don't make those items.

I would love to encourage anyone who knits or crochets to consider making and donating lap blankets, baby blankets and hats to their local hospice or hospital. I promise it's a wonderful feeling to know you've done something to comfort someone who needs it. In some cases, hospice patients don't have any family at all. The gift of a shawl or blanket is a little like having someone put an arm around them!

I'm sorry I don't have any pictures to send you. I never thought to take any.


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