For the past four years, we have been making red, white and blue items to donate to the VA Hospital in Minneapolis on or near Veterans' Day. This year we dropped off 18 items on Friday, Nov. 10.

... And discovered that the hospital is pretty barebones on Veterans' Day. While they were holding a special ceremony later, when we were there many offices were closed, including the Volunteer office where we usually drop our donations. Luckily, we ran into a few ladies in the hall, and one had a key to let us into the Volunteer office! So we were still able to donate that day. (Thank goodness! Those bags were heavy with lapghans!)

Read more about our past 5 donations here. 

A new covered walkway since we were here last!
It took two large plastic bags and three huge boxes to hold our Nov. 7, 2017 donation to Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury. In all, we donated 100 items. Of those, 29 were shawls and blankets (filling up the three gigantic boxes) and the rest were hats.

The kiddos and I managed the drop-off without Amy this time, and were in and out quick, with the help of a wheelchair. The two staff people who accepted our donation raved about the variety and quality. You should proud!

"This time of year, these items go so quickly. We can use hats, blankets and shawls!" said Susan Lombardi when I emailed her the week before. "Thank you for thinking of us!!

We have donated to Woodwinds three other times, in 2013, 2015 and 2016. Click here to read more about these past donation and the care offered at Woodwinds.

At a table in the entryway, patients can help themselves to hats, heatpacks, and a word of encouragement.

Origami Cranes of Hope is a new program at Woodwinds. Folks can volunteer to make these items of encouragement, and those who are fighting cancer can pick them up in the entryway at their appointments.

The number of blankets and shawls in Amy's closet is increasing rapidly! This month, in October, you brought in 31 hats and 5 blankets for a total of 36 items. Last month's donation sites just wanted hats, so we're looking for a site for the October donations that desires shawls and blankets. It's been fun to see how people are tackling larger and more complicated projects, always challenging themselves. You're all so inspiring!

"Oh, look at these beautiful things," stated navigator Diane Vogel as we dropped off 101 hats at St. John's Hospital on Sept. 25, 2017. "Thank you so much!"

She pointed out that they will use the hats at the Look Good, Feel Better events, where they also distribute wigs and scarves for people fighting cancer. "Women love it," Vogel said. They get a chance to try things on and bring them home. The event is offered 6 times a year  (every other month) through the Healthcare system, three times at St. John's and three times at Woodwinds.

Read more about our past donations to St. John's here. 
On Sept. 20, 2017, we dropped off 100 hats at the University of Minnesota Cancer Center. As the staff looked through the boxes of items we brought, one said she had been there for 28 years. "I've never seen hats this great!" she praised.

"These are outstanding," exclaimed another staff member.

Before we dropped off the items, Amy and I grabbed the chance to visit fellow Team Yarn member, JoAnna Keocher, who was waiting for her second round of chemotherapy to begin to treat the leukemia she was diagnosed with in August. As we walked in, she put down her loom, eager to look through the batch of new yarn we had brought her to work with.

As we walked away, this staff member was already beginning to distribute hats to the patients on the floor.