In late September, HealthEast Cancer Care at St John’s Hospital received a yarn donation and thought of us. (Thanks, Janine for picking it up!) A month later, on Nov. 4, 2016, we dropped off 100 hats.

"Thank you for the wonderful hats you brought to HealthEast Cancer Care today. It makes me so happy to see all of you and to see you continue this great work!" said Beth Forristall,
Cancer Care Navigator.

As happens so often, when we dropped off the bags of items, other staff members came over to check out what was happening. "These are all so individual!" one woman praised. "That's so cute!" another said as she held up a hat. "I love the ones with the pom-poms on tops!"
And our favorite comment: "The patients are going to love these." 

As usual, we had a variety of not just colors but sizes in the box, and the women who looked through them were glad to see some that will fit smaller-sized ladies heads. "We have a lot of Asian women who are very petite," explained a staff member. Those hats will be perfect for them. 

We have donated a few times to St. John's, including in June 2015 and April 2013. Click here to view more about our past donations and learn more about the cancer treatment program at St. John's.
October is traditionally the month we collect red, white and blue items for the VA in Minneapolis, and this year was no exception. We are always delighted to see the ample afghans you fashion for the mostly male patients at the VA. This year, you churned out 8 red, white and blue blankets and 1 shawl -- and we know they take a lot of time! We're waiting for another 1 or 2 before we drop items off in November. And there were a few you brought early in September.

You also brought 30 hats and 1 scarf - wow! Some are masculine colors for the VA and others will be distributed to other locations.

DID YOU KNOW - We're getting pretty close to an overall total of 3,000 items since Team Yarn was created. I bet we'll get there before the end of the year. AMAZING!!


When seven-year-old Josey P. set about making her first adult-sized hat on a loom, it only made sense that she'd pick purple yarn. It's her favorite color. When the hat was done, she decided that instead of keeping her first adult-sized hat, she'd donate it to Team Yarn, the organization she's been a part of since it began nearly four years ago. She explained, "I wanted to help somebody."

The seven-year-old added it to the pile of hats at a meet-up one month.

In November, we meet Cindie at the front desk at Our Lady of Peace Home and Hospice. She was staffing the front desk and took our donation. While we were there, she mentioned a friend of hers who was just beginning her fight against cancer. She wished for a hat to give her or a blanket, and asked if we made them to sell. Oh, no! We told her. We make them to give away. And we would be thrilled to give a few to her friend. She arranged to meet up with Amy at her house to go through the hats in our collection, and took one of the blue flower blankets made by Jody Gilbertson, as well.

As Amy turned over the hats Cindie picked to see who had made them, she realized the purple one with the white flower was the hat Josey had created. It was well-made enough that no one would have realized a girl only seven years old had made it.

When Josey heard where her hat had gone, she was thrilled.

Can you envision one of these on a bed, welcoming a patient to Our Lady of Peace Home, Health and Hospice in St. Paul?

The staff could, and were overjoyed when we dropped off 9 shawls and blankets on Nov. 2, 2016. When the nuns started the facility, they wanted didn't want it to be institutionalized, a staff member explained to us. It's small touches like these blankets that keep it homey.

Amy mentioned that we didn't know if they needed shawls or just blankets, but we brought a few along. We care about caregivers too, and we know that a shawl can bring them comfort. We encouraged the staff to feel free to share the shawls (and blankets) with patients and their caregivers.

"They're beautiful. We'll make good use of them here," said Cindie S., who staffs the front desk. (Read more about Cindie here).

Read more about Our Lady of Peace and our past donations by clicking here.
In September, we surround ourselves with shade of purple yarn in memory of Cheryl Slater, the woman who left such a hole that the only thing to do after her death was to find a way to bring comfort to other who were sick and struggling with illness.

I have a new understanding of illness these days, as I'm battling Lyme Disease myself, learning firsthand what it is like to be so very tired and sick that it's challenging to get basic things like cooking and cleaning done. It's not easy to crochet when your finger joints hurt, and I haven't been able to do much, but I've been so glad to be surrounded by the group of volunteers we have. You're such good people!

At our September gathering, you donated 70 hats and 9 blankets -- gorgeous items, every one. Looking through our donation boxes is like browsing through the most artisanal Etsy page.

And looking ahead to our drive for Red, White and Blue in November -- We got a few items early.