715 hats


That's the number of hats we have made in 10 short months. Wow.

This month, we had only about 5 hats prior to the October meet-up, and we were starting to panic. We shouldn't have. All you lovely ladies showed up with over 80 hats.

Susie learned how to crochet in just August, and arrived with 16 beautiful items. She's a pro already. That's been such a fun part of Team Yarn for me... Watching the skill of folks go from nada to amazing.

We value each and every one of the 40+ folks who have donated to Team Yarn in the past 10 months.

This month, items will be heading to the Harbor Room in Cambridge, a place we donated to first back in January.

Time has just been flying by. I suddenly realized I never posted photos from our September meet-up at Silverwood. While we had hoped to sit outside on the patio near the fireplace, a sudden drop in temperatures meant we were inside by the fireplace instead. (But hey! There was a fireplace in both areas!)

This month, 21 hats were dropped by at the meeting. We combined those with the items from August and donated 103 items to Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury. See post here. 

You all amaze and astound us. THANK YOU!!

On Sept. 10, 2013, as Woodwinds Tour Coordinator Julianne Degenhardt looked through the hats and shawls Team Yarn donated, she said, “Folks are just going to love them.”

“These are just unbelieveable,” said Bridget Holmen, nurse navigator. She turned to Team Yarn Co-Founder Amy Pass and said, “Thank you for sharing your mom’s memory with us.”

“I know what it’s like to be in the shoes of someone giving care,” Amy responded. Because of that, she believes it is very important to give shawls, lap blankets and other items not just to the cancer patients, but also their family members and caregivers.

That’s exactly what happens at Woodwinds, and they go through prayer shawls in particular very quickly. All of their prayer shawls are blessed before they are distributed. “They are very much appreciated,” observed Julianne.

“People get very attached to them,” remarked Bridget. “Things go out the door as fast as we get them.” In particular, folks like darker colors.

“We appreciate everything you’ve done,” said Julianne.

“We have a very small staff here. Because we are so small, our patients really get to know us,” observed Bridget. That also enables nurses to have a pulse on who might really need a hat or a shawl. “Shawls and hats all help a patient on this journey,” Bridget said. “This gift you’ve given us is beautiful.”

My mom was just astonished when she was brought into the Harbor Room and told she could pick out hats, Amy recalled. “I remember her telling me about it.”

This is the third year Woodwinds has received 3rd place on the list of Top 100 Hospitals in the United States.

Due to the high demand, the hospital plans to double its cancer unit in a few years and begin offering radiation services. “People love coming here,” observed Woodwinds Volunteer Coordinator Ivonne Norberg.

“There are lots of healing art therapies that are available at Woodwinds,” noted Julianne, including acupuncture, healing touch and essential oils.

“I was so fascinated by what I saw online,” Amy told Woodwinds representatives.

At Woodwinds, they recognize the value of music for the sick. A harpist plays soothing music in the infusion area some days. There’s a pianist in the main area of the hospital other days and students on violin. Those who want to perform at Woodwinds audition first, which points to their talent.

They also recognize the power of pets, and people are able to bring their pets with them during the day.

In the ward where patients receive their chemotherapy, there are no televisions and few disturbances. It is a peaceful area, a place with large windows, scenic views of the 30 acres around Woodwinds, and strategically placed bird feeders installed by Boy Scouts. Research has shown how beneficial it is to those who are sick to be surrounded by views of nature.

At Woodwinds, there is a large gazebo in the  healing garden, which is near the pathways that wind through the area. A labyrinth of a tree with two trunks helps calm those who walk through it.

Woodwinds Health Campus is a member of the HealthEast Care System, and is affiliated with St. John’s in Maplewood, a place we donated to earlier this year. See blog post here.

Learn more at http://www.healtheast.org/woodwinds.html

Woodwinds is located at 1925 Woodwinds Dr, Woodbury, MN 55125.