Amy and I, along with fellow Team Yarn members Jenn Johnson and Linda Johnson, are walking in the 4th Annual Alissa Haines Stomp Out Suicide Awareness 5K Run/Walk in Wyoming, Minn. on Saturday, Aug. 22. Suicide has reached its icy fingers into our lives, and we want to do something about it.

When we received a box of hats from Team Yarn member Ann Dolina and she told us that she'd knit all these hats in her grief over a friend who had committed suicide this spring, we knew that was more than coincidence.

We knew we needed to donate hats to the event.

On Friday, June 3, Amy and family dropped off hats in Forest Lake to donate for the Stomp Out Suicide silent auction. The organizer was so pleased and grateful.


Founded in Memory
of Alissa M. Haines

October 1, 1996 – December 29, 2011
Stomp Out Suicide was founded on February 5, 2012, by the parents of a beautiful, fun-loving teenage girl. Alissa Marie Haines was lost to suicide on December 29, 2011. She was 15 years old.

The 5K run/walk takes place on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015, beginning at 10 a.m. (9 a.m. check-in and registration) at Goodview Park in Wyoming, MN. The event includes entertainment and activities for the whole family, such as:
  • DJ music from DJ Sound Productions & Entertainment
  • Live music from Jacob Champlain and the Blue Jays
  • A kids’ area with face painting, bounce houses, clowns, costumed characters and more
  • A silent auction and raffle featuring amazing goods and services for adults and children
  • Food stands provided by Otis Concessions
  • A balloon release to honor loved ones lost to suicide
  • A resource fair chocked full of information about suicide awareness and mental health resources from several local organizations
  • A short keynote speech from John Moe, host of Wits from American Public Media & Mental Health Advocate


Individuals or teams may register for the event online until 11 pm Sunday, August 16. Registration is $25 for adults and $15 for children 16 and under. Register by August 16 and you’re guaranteed a race T-shirt. Shirts will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis for same-day registrations done at the park.

About John Moe, Keynote Speaker

John Moe, the host of Wits from American Public Media, has a long and varied career in public radio as well as comedy. Moe served as host of Marketplace Tech Report and Weekend America, both national programs heard on public radio stations. His reporting and commentary has been heard on All Things Considered, Marketplace, Day to Day, and numerous other public radio programs.
Moe’s latest book is Dear Luke, We Need to Talk, Darth. His writing has appeared in numerous humor anthologies, the New York Times Magazine, and McSweeney’s, among many other publications.

 John has been a lead singer in rock bands, a writer of video games, an editor at, and he once got fired for washing dishes the wrong way.

In 2007, John lost his brother to suicide due to untreated depression. He’s spoken publicly on Twitter about the importance of seeking help and treatment for depression, in an effort to spread mental health awareness and suicide prevention. In 2012, John went public about living with depression himself in a powerful series of tweets with the hopeful hashtag #sunlight. John’s passion for reducing the stigma around mental illness aligns perfectly with the mission of Stomp Out Suicide, and we are honored to have him speak at our event.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!  The hats and shawls are so beautiful and we appreciate the loving care that went into producing each one. 

Beth Forristall, RN, BSN, OCN
Cancer Care Navigator
HealthEast Cancer Care Center

Click here to view details on this donation.

Almost 2,000 items!

What an amazing journey the past few years have been. We have nearly reached a donation total of 2,000 items. Wow! That's truly amazing.

Amy and I weren't sure what would happen when we decided to start a branch of Head Huggers. Would others join us in the endeavor? Would it just be us? To see what it has grown into is inspiring.

You all inspire us. Thank you for all you do!

In June, you donated 99 gorgeous items! Plus a bunch of yarn! We enjoyed looking through each others creations while sitting outside at Silverwood Park. It was a gorgeous summer day!

When making our June 16, 2015 delivery to Woodwinds Hospital, we ran into a man in the waiting room who was quite impressed with our boxes overflowing with handmade items.

"That's really special," he told us. "There's a lot of ladies who need them. It will help the ladies a lot."

Wasn't that wonderful to hear?

In all, we donated 85 items to Woodwinds Hospital, during this second visit. (Read about our first visit and learn more about Woodwinds here.) The box included 81 hats and 4 scarves/cowls.

We chatted with Sarah at the desk in their cancer treatment area. "Wow. You guys have been busy!" she observed. "Thanks so much!" She was delighted to receive out donation as their supply of items to give away was very low.

Although it is summer, Sarah noted that cancer patients often sleep with hats on in order to keep their heads warm.

The HealthEast Cancer Center offers radiation oncology as a new service in Woodbury to complement the medical oncology and infusion therapy services already provided at this location. The opening of this center means patients in Woodbury and its surrounding communities now have access to the same comprehensive care offered at St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood.

On June 16, 2015, we returned to St. John's Hospital in Maplewood to donate 87 items: 81 hats, 2 blankets, 2 scarves/cowls and 2 shawls.

"What a beautiful assortment," stated Beth Forristall. "I can't thank you enough."

Kathy was also impressed with the variety of items we donated. She observed that their patients love these handmade items. When she talks to them later, they remind her about the shawl or hat they received, commenting perhaps on how it goes perfectly with their favorite chair.

St. John’s Hospital is part of the HealthEast Cancer Care Center. Team Yarn member Kelli McCully put us in touch with this hospital, as her father-in-law works there. The site was where we made our fourth donation in May 2013. READ THAT POST HERE.

At that time, we were approaching 400 total items donated. Now, we are nearing 2,000!!