Thankfully, it was the perfect winter to stay inside and play with yarn! And so that's exactly what we did.
In December 2013, Hats Off to Liz dropped off 98 homemade chemo caps to Credit Valley Hospital--our biggest single donation yet! By March we had another 52 ready to go. With that donation, we brought our total of chemo caps donated directly to Credit Valley to a whopping 575!
Our grand total, however, is 689 hats since November 2011. Our main goal is to supply Credit Valley Hospital with soft, colourful chemo caps, but others have gone to friends, family members and sometimes even strangers upon special request.
Late last year we also had a mini chemo cap drive for McMaster Children's Hospital in Hamilton. At the suggestion of one our members (who knows a sweet little girl being treated there), we made and donated 30 child-sized hats for the tiny patients at McMaster just before Christmas. It is utterly gut wrenching to think about what these children and their families must go through, so we hope that maybe our hats brought a little bit of much-needed comfort and warmth at Christmastime.
While the weather may have been awful, the last few months has been very good to us as far as donations go. As a thank-you for mailing out a few chemo caps to her mother-in-law, Jodi Lumsden sent us a beautiful batch of yarn so we'd be able to make more hats for important people like her husband's mom.
Just before Christmas a kind and creative anonymous benefactor sent us a few balls of lovely, squishy-soft yarn and a custom made Hats Off to Liz ornament! The donor has never revealed him/herself, so we haven't been able to formally send our heartfelt thanks for the wonderful surprise!
In April, just as the weather was finally starting to change from winter over to spring, we received a huge box of cotton and bamboo yarn from a friend whose identity we DO know, but who wishes to remain anonymous. The gift was perfectly timed, since we shift over to cotton and other lighter yarns in the spring and summer.
Finally, just yesterday we received a $100 cheque in the mail from the neighbour of a woman named Andrea who had been on the receiving end of one of our chemo cap donations while she was battling breast cancer. Bradley Preboy wanted to purchase a coloured pencil sketch made by Andrea, but instead she asked him to make a donation to Hats Off to Liz. Two very kind souls indeed.
We are so incredibly grateful for the generosity of our friends, family--and strangers! We truly couldn't do what we do without your support.
Of course we still continue to knit and crochet infant loss items for the Perinatal Bereavement Program at Credit Valley Hospital. The tiny outfits, buntings, hats and blankets are given to wee babies born too early to survive. It means the world to us to know that these sweet little ones have something soft and special to wear, just like every baby deserves.
Starting this summer we are going to be making infant loss items from donated wedding dresses. After posting an article about a charity doing the same, we were stunned when friends started offering their own wedding dresses to Hats Off to Liz. Our resident seamstress, Melinda, has generously volunteered to work with the dresses and will be making prototypes in June before cutting the actual dresses. We are incredibly grateful to the generous women who are willing to part with such a special item of clothing. All we keep thinking of is the little ones who will have something sweet, special and just their size to wear while mom and dad say goodbye.
The warmer weather is almost here, which means it'll soon be time for patios, BBQs, cottages and picnics. But no matter what the weather, we are always knitting, hooking and sewing in the hopes that our work can bring comfort to those who need it most. "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." Yup, that's Hats Off to Liz!