Hugs from the Heart- Spotlight charity All heart home health & hospice

I don’t know if you have ever watched a person die. I have. I was present during the final days of my grandmother’s life and was with her when she drew her final breaths on this earth. There are a lot of things I can do, but watching someone pass from this life over and over again would not be one of them. But there are people who can. Hospice is a wonderful thing. We all have our own gifts, and the people who work with hospice care are very special! Here is another way to help people with crochet. The hospice workers who came in to help usher my grandmother from this world were wonderful and respectful loving people.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Amy who works with All Heart Home Health & Hospice care and here is my first Tabitha Tuesday Interview.

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What made you want to start Hugs from the heart? It’s something we hadn’t done before. We tried making legacy pillows out of patients’ shirts for the families, but it didn’t really take off, in terms of volunteer involvement. Looking back, I think making an entire pillow was a bit much to ask of individuals, so the next logical step was to ask for pieces of a larger project. It’s an easier project to take on for one person, and from a practical point of view: as a crocheter myself, this is an easy way to use up yarn in my own stash that I don’t have a project for already.

How many blankets have you donated? Oh wow, we’ve given out 13 of them so far!

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How do your patients respond when given a blanket? They are surprised and it tends to mean a lot to them, because total strangers are helping to make these blankets. They do serve a practical purpose, because when the patients don’t feel good, sometimes they feel cold. But the blankets are more than that: they show the patients and their families they aren’t going through this time alone.

What would be one thing that you would want others to know about Hugs? You don’t have to be good at knitting or crocheting in order to take part in this program. If you’re learning one of those skills, send us the squares you aren’t happy with and we’ll put them to good use. Once they are combined with other squares, that’s all that matters.

In your wildest dreams, how would you think Hugs would grow in the next three years? It would be nice if we could continue with the yarn companies sending us donations now and then. We’ve gotten some yarn donated from the corporations that sell it, as well as local individual donations. If we had enough yarn for me to send out to my crocheters so they never had to use their own yarn, that would make me happy.

Is there a website where others could find a way to help/donate? Facebook is probably the best way to go right now. I’m getting ready to write up some more website content, so I’ll need to have our Director of Marketing add a page for our site.

What is the best way to contact you? (email or phone?) Either way, it doesn’t matter. amy@allhearthomehealth.com

How are the blankets squares connected? I learned how to do the join as you go method, which is just a continuation of the standard granny square stitches (a cluster of 3 DC with a SC through the space of the square you’re attaching).

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In what ways can others help? Send yarn that you don’t want but have in your stash. Any kind will work, even eyelash yarn. We’d use that for a fun edging. J You can use multiple yarns for one square: have enough yarn for half a square? Add another color or kind of yarn. They don’t have to match when you get done with them, because once they are all put together, the squares match. Anything that people want to donate can be sent or dropped off at our office in Norfolk.

Anything else you would want to share? I really appreciate anyone who helps out with this program. Like I mentioned, I crochet too, and it’s nice when you meet people that share the same interests and want to help out. This is a mind-numblingly easy project: whip out a square or two while you’re watching tv in the evening. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you see the finished blankets, it becomes a really lovely gift. I wish I could share photos of the patients who receive them (I can’t because of HIPAA), because they always do the same thing: pat them and run their hands over the different types of yarn. Something that simple really does mean a lot to our families.

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