69 hats, 2 shawls and 6 blankets to CMC's Harbor Room

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. 


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