We love packages

Barbara Hart lives in Alabama and has sent us hats once a year since Team Yarn started. This was her 2015 shipment - 8 hats and a scarf! THANKS, Barbara!

Ann has attended our meetings in the past but hasn't been able to make it out to see us recently. So, she popped her hats in the mail, and I received them last week. THANKS, Ann!!

We brought 125 hats and 20 pairs of mittens to the Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. 

This was our second donation to this important resource for families here in the Twin Cities. We couldn't take a tour because we had little kids with us, and they're pretty serious about germs and illness prevention, but we did have a nice chat with Emily about all the features of the Ronald McDonald House.

Emily mentioned that there are several room sizes available, depending on what a family needs. They are like hotel suites. Some hold up to 10 people! They're used by extended families. While sometimes it's just a parent and a child, other times aunts, uncles, grandmas, siblings and friends stay to help out.  

The average stay for a patient at the Ronald McDonald House is 3 to 4 months. The Minneapolis location has one of the longest average stays of a Ronald McDonald House. This is because so many kids there are transplant patients.  The Minneapolis House is bigger than the Rochester location.

Shuttles are offered from the House to the various hospitals around. In Minneapolis, there are also smaller Ronald McDonald Houses inside Gillette Children's Hospital and Minneapolis Children's Hospital. This spring

There are big kitchens on the main floor of the House, and many local people and groups donate food and kitchen supplies so that everything at the House provided free of charge. 

As shown on the mural, there's a big play area and a house dog named Eddie.

Plus, there's a school on site! There average 7-15 kids in the one-room classroom. The school teacher works with the student's teachers from back home on lessons. Plus, some work is done online. "Even if she has five second graders, they might all be doing something different," said Emily.


See more about the Ronald McDonald House and past donations here:

by Amy Pass

I was looking back on my notes from last year and was reminded of the little green laundry basket that held our first month of donated yarn and hats. I could actually carry everything out to my car by myself back in those days! I am astonished that we have grown from 1 little green laundry basket to bins and boxes and tote bags full of yarn and full of all the beautiful handmade items so carefully crafted by all of you. (And half a bedroom in my house devoted to Team Yarn...wonder what this next year will bring?)

This year 20 additional people joined the Team, raising our total number of contributors to over 70 in the past 2 years. It’s hard to know exactly HOW many because several of our donations have come from groups, most notably: the NE Metro 916 Intermediate School District Career & Technical Center students, who have donated 141 items to Team Yarn over the past 2 years!!  

In 2014 Team Yarn donated to 9 different facilities - Our Lady of Peace Hospice Center, Ronald McDonald House in Rochester, Sandra J. Schulze Hope Lodge in Rochester, Richard M. Schulz Hope Lodge in Minneapolis, Amplatz Children’s Hospital, Minneapolis VA Medical Center, Minneapolis Children’s Hospital, and The Harbor Room at the Cambridge Medical Center. We donated items for silent auction at 2 fundraiser events and gifted hats and shawls to a number of individuals, as well. In total, 808 items passed through our hands in 2014, exactly 20 more items than last year! When we first got started, I kept worrying that things would dwindle after a while, that the momentum would fade. I need not have worried! Our two year grand total comes to 1,596 items!

I want to especially acknowledge the talent of this group. We have strength, not only in numbers, but also in skill, creativity and artistry. The hats, scarves, shawls, and blankets you have donated this year are absolutely phenomenal in quality. We have received this feedback again and again at our donation sites. Thank you for not only contributing your time and energy, but also your attention to detail, your care and commitment to gifting beautiful things to people who need a bright spot in difficult times.

We’d like to give a special shout out to Sandra Slater, who contributed 177 hats this year. She is a knitting machine! Extra thanks to her yarn-detangler extraordinaire: my dad, Brad Slater. Next in line among our top contributors is Linda Moore with a total of 96 items. (I should mention that she was slowed considerably by the making of blankets this year! If all that time had been spent in hats, there’s no telling what her numbers would be!) She is followed by Lorraine Herges, who faithfully donates at our drop site in Cambridge, MN. She donated 71 items this year. Jenni Raborn made 67 items for the Team, nearly doubling her numbers from last year! And Alexys Tellinghusen (age 13) made 37 hats! These five people single-handedly contributed more than half of this year’s total! Having said that, we want to make it clear that this team would not be what it is today without the contributions of every individual person. Single hats and single skeins of yarn add up to the numbers you’re hearing about today. With only 20 fewer items, we would not have surpassed last year’s numbers! Thank you!

To all our kiddos: Jordan, Octavia & Ariana, Maddy & Emily, Alexys, Josey & Axel, and Aurora, thank you for coming! Some of you have already contributed your own handmade items to the Team, and we think that’s AMAZING! We love your enthusiasm. We love to see you learning to knit and crochet. We love your help in tagging hats. You make us smile at every meeting, and we love you!

Finally, I want to give an extra special thanks to Tesha, my friend and Team Yarn co-founder. Without her constant encouragement, steady presence, and enthusiasm, Team Yarn would not exist. She collects information about our donation sites, isn’t afraid to ask questions when we get there, writes up blog posts, and documents our meetings in photographs - all the while whipping up her own hats, shawls & blankets to donate! THANK YOU! I could not do it without you!

24 Meetings Later
VIDEO: A note from Amy on our 2nd Anniversary
On Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, we stopped by the Minnesota Oncology office across from Abbott Northwestern in Minneapolis. We brought along 47 hats and 2 prayer shawls. 

"Oh, they're just beautiful," said Robin Highum, project manager. "We go through hats regularly." She added, "Thank you so much!"

Our link to this Minnesota Oncology center is that Amy is treated here. Additionally, her mom was treated at the Fridley location.

Robin Highum of Mn Oncology

According to Highum, there are some days when 50 people sit in their chairs for treatments. On any given month, about 1100-1200 patients are treated.

The Minneapolis location has been in its present location across the 26th St. from Abbott Northwestern Hospital for seven years. Previously it was in the Piper building south of 28th St.

One program at MN Oncology is their My Choice is My Wishes advanced care planning. Trained counselors will help patients define the activities, relationships and healthcare goals that are important to them, and then complete advance directive documentation that matches preferences for care.

Hand-in-hand with that is the Survivorship Program. "We're very big on survivorship," observed Highum. "It does not mean end of life. It helps people along the entire journey."

From the web site:
The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) considers someone a cancer “survivor” from the day of diagnosis throughout the rest of life. At Minnesota Oncology, we agree with this definition. If you are at the start of your journey or have had a change in treatment, you may or may not feel like a cancer survivor. That’s okay. We still consider you a cancer survivor. We define survivorship from the time of diagnosis and continuing through treatment and afterwards until the end of life. 

Survivorship care also includes the family members, friends and caregivers who are members of your inner circle and who contribute to your emotional and physical well-being.

Our goal is to care for the whole person, tailoring your care plan to focus on your physical, social, emotional, and functional needs.  One of our Advanced Practice Providers will meet with you to assess your needs and answer your questions. This conversation may include, but is not limited to the following goals:
  • Discuss your treatment plan
  • Review treatment(s) you have received and discuss follow-up plan
  • Assess your current physical, social, emotional, and functional needs
  • Explore and enhance your coping skills
  • Connect you to community or practice resources
  • Manage and understand late effects from treatment
  • Understand the purpose and importance of Healthcare Directives

The center offers many support groups through the Twin Cities Metro Area, some open to any type of cancer and others specific.

One corner of the treatment area is devoted to resources and handmade items. Our hats will be put here!


Minnesota Oncology is dedicated to providing compassionate care for various types of cancer and blood disorders in 11 convenient Twin Cities metro locations as well as several satellite locations. Its mission is to combine the strength of hope with the power of science, one patient at a time.

US Oncology, headquartered in Houston, Texas, is one of the nation’s largest cancer treatment and research networks. US Oncology provides extensive services and support to its affiliated cancer care sites nationwide to help them expand their offering of the most advanced treatments and technologies, build integrated community-based cancer care centers, improve their therapeutic drug management programs, and participate in many of the new cancer-related clinical research studies. US Oncology is affiliated with 1,029 physicians operating in 411 locations, including 91 radiation oncology facilities in 35 states.