A few notes of thanks...

These came in recently, and we wanted to be sure that you, our hardworking volunteers, got a chance to read them.

From HealthEast Care Center (Woodwinds and St. John's)

From North Memorial - Humphrey Cancer Center

From volunteer Sandi Fischer

From the Minneapolis VA

There are a lot of things that happen behind the scenes at Team Yarn. We like to keep track of every hat that comes through, so we tag them, photograph them and post them to a photo album on Facebook. While much of the tagging happens at home by our regular volunteers or during our Team Yarn meetings, there are always extra items that need to be tagged before a drop-off. Much of that work is done by Amy and Aurora -- with some help from Josey and I from time to time. Amy also keep meticulous records in a few Google documents, tracking which type of time came in from who and in what month. Conversely, she tracks how many items we donate to each location and when. And then we share the numbers with you once a year at our annual anniversary gathering. Click here for more on our anniversaries.

When you don't feel so great about how you look because you're in the middle of cancer treatment, a hat can make you feel good, according to Minneapolis Hope Lodge Manager Mary Oys Wiles. It's nice to have a few hats to pick from of varying colors and styles to change it up. That's why the Hope Lodge keep a box of donated hats for residents to pick from, and why Team Yarn enjoys helping keep that box full.

We dropped off 74 items at the Hope Lodge on Feb. 1, 2017. When we spoke with them, they let us know they had plenty of hats right now, but could use blankets and shawls, so we left a box of 3 shawls and 6 blankets with them. They also mentioned that HCMC's cancer care area could use the hats, and offered to pass along a box as people are regularly passing between the Hope Lodge and HCMC. So we left a box with 65 hats for HCMC. It's our first time donating to HCMC, but we've had a history of donating to the Hope Lodge. Read more about the wonderful work they do offering housing for those battling cancer and our past donations here.

"Thank you!" Mary told us as she looked through the boxes we brought, praising the quality and color.

Want to help out the lodge? In March, they're in need of bulk toiletry items such as travel size shampoo, lotion, and body wash. To stay up to date on their needs, check out the Amazon wist list at:

The HCMC Comprehensive Cancer Center at 900 South 8th Street in Minneapolis is committed to providing the finest in cancer-related services through an integrated system of health and social services. The continuum of care extends from prevention, diagnosis, treatment, symptom control, and cure, through all related aspects of adjustment to relapse, survivorship, and bereavement counseling.

The Cancer Center team includes medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists, specially trained R.N.s, clinical nurse specialists in complementary therapy, and pharmacists. This team collaborates with physical therapists to provide care to patients with lymphedema and with a geneticist who provides genetic counseling to patients and families. The Hennepin Comprehensive Cancer Center also includes the Nancy Geltman Shiller Cancer Resource Library.

The Hennepin Comprehensive Cancer Center works in cooperation with national research groups to advance knowledge about cancer. The Center has long-standing partnerships with the Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP), the Cancer Trials Support Unit (CTSU), and the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP). As a result of these affiliations, patients receive the most current treatments available.

The Richard M. Schulze Family American Cancer Society Hope Lodge® at 2500 University Ave. in Minneapolis offers private rooms for the comfort of its guests and their caregiver. Fostering a home-like environment, the Hope Lodge facility is equipped with a community dining room, kitchen, family room, library and laundry facilities. The Hope Lodge community also offers guests a wide variety of cancer programs and services that provide information, resources and support to ease the cancer journey.

The Richard M. Schulze Family American Cancer Society Hope Lodge facility is equipped with the following.
  • 42 private guest rooms with two beds, bathroom, telephone, internet access
  • Six fully equipped kitchens where guests prepare their own meals
  • Community dining room
  • Four television lounges, library, meditation/chapel room, fitness room, game room, and outdoor patios
  • On-site laundry facilities
When we get very small hats, Amy sets them aside for a drop-off to a location that serves premature babies. We've donated in the past to Whittier Clinic and Masonic Children's Hospital. This is a little outside our mission, but we do make sure the hats go to a good cause when we get them. In general, we encourage people to make hats a little larger as we've found there isn't a big need for small hats within those who are being treated for cancer. Even kids have surprisingly large heads, and are often in an "adult small size" by the time they're 9 or 10. So, the rule of thumb is: go up! That said, remember that people who are in treatment for cancer have often lost their hair, and that makes their hat size a little smaller than it would be if they were well. Most of our volunteers try the hats on their own heads when they're trying to size them. If it fits you, you know it'll fit someone else too!

On Feb. 1, 2017, we dropped off 72 hats for the NICU at the U of M Masonic Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. They were very grateful for these soft, sweet hats. (And yes, all 72 fit in those two gift bags - you can fit a lot of small hats in a single bag!)

We have a new motto! We tossed it around and are proud to announce that soon we'll be selling t-shirts and more pronouncing...

Team Yarn
Saving the world one stitch at a time

We wanted something that reflected the variety of different handicrafts reflected in the items made by our volunteers, who knit, crochet, sew and more. So we felt that the word "Stitch" most accurately reflected that rather than hook or pearl or needle. We also wanted to express the fun we have as a group. We want to help people, but we don't want to come off as a group overly focused on our own good works -- and a lot of the various words and phrases we tried out came off that way. We're just people, helping people. And we know how quickly and easily the situation could be reversed. And so, we settled on something that was a little quirky and a lot fun.

Let Tesha know if you're interested in a t-shirt, tank top, tote bag, or other. Anyone need a superhero cape?