Thanks so much, Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, for the bags of yarn! We are so appreciative and can't wait to see the great items our handi-crafters will fashion with it!

Amy and I picked up the yarn from Cha on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014.

1,500 items - WOWZA!

18 hats, 2 scarves, and 8 WONDERFUL Red, White & Blue blankets came in at the November meeting!! And with that, our Team Yarn total has passed 1500!

Brenda's husband dropped off her blanket

While it was mostly red, white and blue, we did have some fun stuff of other colors that will be donated elsewhere:

And here's a few shots of the kiddos! They made gizmos that created turkey sounds! And bundled up to play in the snow.

We donated 69 hats, 2 shawls and 6 blankets to the Harbor Room at Cambridge Medical Center on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. It was our third donation to the cancer resource center that so helped Amy's mom, Cheryl Slater, as she battled cancer.

Read more about our past donations to the Harbor Room and their wonderful work here.

Not long ago, a woman walked into the Harbor Room and said, "We're going to a wedding and I don't know what to do." She didn't want to wear a scarf to a wedding. "We pulled out our hats. She knew she was wearing pink," recalled Lori Dimitry. They found the perfect hat for her and she was so excited. "It gave me goosebumps," said Dimitry.

Lori Dimitry is the new volunteer director at Cambridge Medical Center, and has been working in that position since February although she's been at CMC since 1979. In all, there are 136 people who volunteer at the Cambridge hospital and clinic. At the Harbor Room, they schedule people in four-hour shifts in the morning or afternoon. They're always looking for more volunteers.

She pointed out that this is a great time of year for us to donate two boxes of hats. As it gets colder, the Harbor Room gives away more. They don't limit the amount one person can take home, but instead give away as many as someone needs.

"You wouldn't believe how often people come in here and they are at their wit's end," Dimitry observed. They receive many requests for hats, scarves and wigs. "It's so much fun to give!"

The Harbor Room is currently revamping its support groups and adding in both an educational and fun component. Attendance was dwindling, so they decided to do something different, explained Dimitry. In October they invited a pharmacist to speak and then created healing bracelets. In November, a behavioral health specialist spoke about her own cancer journey and then participants made a photo cube box. In December, a representative from Sister Kenny will share exercises and everyone will leave with their own low-impact exercise band. "If they leave with something tangible, they are more likely to come," noted Dimitry. Plus, they want the group members to have fun. "No one thinks cancer is fun, but cancer can't be your whole life either," said Dimitry. "There's nothing fun about cancer, but you still need to live."

The Harbor Room also offers financial assistance for people. Recently, they helped pay for a garage door opener and a dryer for a woman battling cancer to make her life easier. Those who attend the monthly Beautiful You program leave with $80 worth in make-up.

Meet Harbor Room Volunteer Marge Johnson

Marge Johnson lost her sister two years ago. Her sister was just 50 years old. She had Stage 4 breast cancer. After a year to grieve, Johnson started volunteering at the Harbor Room. "I think its been real comforting both ways," she observed. Johnson is comforted while she helps others.

"So much talent and such loving hands passing these treasures to those that need," said Lori Dimitry.

Click here to view Facebook Post from CMC about Team Yarn. 

A hug in the mail

We shipped off a few packages at the end of October. One went up to Duluth to encourage young Dexter battling Stage 4 cancer and his mom, Jenny (formerly of Minneapolis). See his Caring Bridge site here:

"Dexter really likes his new hat!! He begins chemotherapy on Monday. Please keep him and his family in your prayers!" said his mom Jenny.

Another package went down south to Alisha in Mississippi, a woman both Amy and I have know since we were young. Her mom is battling Stage 4 cancer here in Minnesota, and she's faced with the tough burden of helping her mom from afar.

"I got the sweetest hug in the mail today! What a blessing! Thanks for all the encouragement!!" said Alisha.

Sandy wrote: "Amy, I want to thank you and your Team Yarn for the AWESOME hats you gave me--and the AWESOME prayer shawl! What an absolutely lovely thing to do for people! You are all such a blessing to ME and to many others. They will come in very handy with this cold weather coming. I had been planning on spending the winter in Florida with my friend and some with Alisha in Mississippi. So It'll be hard to have to stay in the "frozen tundra" instead. The hats will be a big help. I've lost most of my hair, but still have some. Goes with the territory, I guess. But the hats were beautiful and please tell your daughter that I especially appreciated the one SHE made! Alisha knows I love purple, and I saw that they were all purple! Please keep praying for me--as God has been answering prayers and keeping my body strong and increasing my appetite. God is in CONTROL of my life, but He did say to pray for one another. A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to you and your group once again!! God bless you ALL!!"

Sandy's daughter Heather picked up the box of hats and a shawl from Amy to deliver to her mother.

Amy arrived home on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014 to find a bag of 16 hats hanging on her doorknob. What a fun surprise! Thank you, Joanna Shelton!

And a package from Helen H. filled with two gorgeous shawls arrived in the mail on Thursday, Oct. 30. Impressive! I love the cards she sent with her prayer shawls.

The Cambridge Medical Center is talking about us on their Facebook page:

Thanks Team Yarn for the generous donation of 69 hats, 2 shawls and 6 blankets for Cambridge Medical Center's Harbor Room Cancer Resource Center. Cancer patients will truly appreciate the warmth of these gifts. This thoughtful group donates their handmade pieces to the Harbor Room each fall, and supports many other local organizations.

There were 47 hats and 3 shawls brought to the October 2014 meeting. PLUS Linda made Amy a special scarf in purple. It's a great pattern that incorporates the Cancer Awareness Ribbon.

October has been our Purple Month for the past 2 years, as we remember Cheryl Slater and donate items to the Harbor Room in Cambridge, a cancer resource center Cheryl benefited from during her fight with Merkel Cell Carcinoma.

And (unplanned!) most of our group wore purple to the meet-up!

Plus there was a lot of red, white and blue at the meeting as we all worked on our large projects for the VA Hospital in November. Can't wait to see them all done!!