Our first full year is now behind us, and what a year it was! Our local ranks swelled from just a couple of knitters and crocheters (who easily fit into my tiny family room), to a big, wonderful, raucous group who happily squeeze into any available spot in the house, floor included. On the last Sunday of every month, my house is a tangle of yarn and friends, both new and old, and I can't imagine it any other way now.
We also continue to get donations from afar, which is pretty amazing given that non-local Hats Off members can't take advantage of the donated yarn that locals have at their disposal, and they have to pay to have their donations shipped to Canada. It confirms what I already knew: yarny people are the best.
In 2012 we started a partnership with Holy Name Of Mary College School, whose grade five and six students are learning how to knit and crochet chemo caps and infant loss items to donate to Hats Off To Liz as part of their 2012/13 Stewardship Program. Hats Off members visit the school as often as we can to support the girls and lend a hand as they continue to improve their skills.
We were also featured on the Volunteer Halton website. Their mission is to foster a healthy and socially innovative community through the act of civic engagement. They link volunteers with organizations, like ours, that need help and resources.
And, of course, we made hats and infant loss items that have been donated to The Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga, as well as to chemotherapy patients and bereaved parents near and far, upon special request.
In total, we have sent 322 chemo caps out into the world since December 2011. We've also donated dozens of infant loss items, including wee hats, blankies, and burial buntings, as well as six lapghans for chemo patients.
Our official Credit Valley Hospital tally:
December 2011: 109 hats, including 54 donated baseball caps
January 2012: 31 chemo caps
May 2012: 38 chemo caps
October 2012: 58 chemo caps
December 2012: 50 chemo caps
We also sent out four chemo caps in response to special requests, and the team rallied hard for four children undergoing treatment. We sent out a total of 32 little hats to these wee ones, two sweet girls and two brave little boys.
While it's not something we typically do, we also made a comfort quilt for one of the children. Six Hats Off members each donated squares which were assembled into a fun and cheerful blanket for an 8-year old girl undergoing chemotherapy in Colorado.
So yeah, it's been a pretty busy year! Busy, wonderful, fulfilling and absolutely incredible.
Thank you SO much to the amazing team of yarnies who give so freely of their time and talent to make a difference in the lives of others, and to all the people who have donated yarn and supplies to help further our cause. You are all awesome.