Saturday, February 13, 2016

Love Scarf Project Valentine's Delivery at City of Hope

It was a most glorious Valentine's delivery on Friday, 2/12 at the City of Hope.  It's most convenient for the hospital for us to do weekday deliveries so that meant Friday delivery this year.

And look who greeted us!  Edwin and Lauren, activities directors at COH, decorated the wagons they lend us for deliveries!!!  Signs, a teddy bear, and even ribbons on the wagon handles!  Such love and joy met us outside upon our arrival!!!

Here are some of the crew -- Susie, Blayre, Jim, Maureen and Annaly.  Blayre has been crocheting for us for a few years.  Jim crocheted his first scarf for our project and magically the yarn he used for his scarf was used by someone else on the project who knitted a hat of the same yarn.  Jim was actually able to make sure that one of the patients got both!!!  Magic!  And Blayre and Jim's R2D2 hats were so loved and appreciated by so many they may crochet some for 2017!

Lovely Annaly has helped us a few different years.  

Maureen came for the first time this year!  She introduced me to Robbie.  She was a teacher until just last year and could never come to delivery so we were blessed blessed blessed to have her join us this year.  Robbie visited her in a poignant, colorful, beautiful dream the night before delivery to just add extra magic to the delivery day.

And Susie has -- for years -- saved the project by bringing I'm sure over 75 scarves and hats each year.  We need a ton of scarves and hats and I am always concerned we won't have enough.  Susie is one of our major angels who herself knits for several other causes as well -- veterans, homeless, new moms/infants, and more.  Angel extraordinaire!

Other angels without whom we just couldn't make this happen:

  • Mo Charles -- inspires many knitters and always comes through with several big bags full.  
  • Nara Dunkerson -- the same thing -- several bags full of deliciously love-filled scarves every single year since the very beginning of the Love Scarf Project.
  • Carrie Lundell -- Also since the beginning, Carrie continues to spread the word in her community!  A new donor, her dear friend's mom, Bonnie, donated a huge bag of love-filled creations for babies and adults.
  • Sharon Euler -- oh my god she has already started on 2017!  She knits up a storm all year long and her very soft hats are so very loved and seem to magically fit whoever tries one on!
This very intricate, gorgeous shawl by Alexandra (sent from New York) was given to this extremely appreciative patient who was so profoundly moved by the delivery.  She was starting to cry but then shifted to this most joyous grateful state.  She rolled her IV poll into the bathroom to look in the mirror.  It was magic seeing her look in the mirror.

Shannon gave her a hug.  Shannon is our master hugger who offers everyone the best, warmest hugs of all.  

We always give scarves and hats to the loved ones who are with the patients for Valentine's Day gift.  Also we ask if they have loved ones coming on Valentine's Day who might appreciate a gift.  This couple was so so happy that she got a hat/scarf too!  

We had a big delivery crew this year so everyone had their own magical stories. I will just share two that I have that are emblematic of how the love put into the scarves truly does make it to the patients.

At one point in the middle of a flurry of finding the perfect scarves for a patient, someone beckoned me because a patient wanted to say "thank you" to someone.  I was chosen to be the recipient.  I went into the room but didn't recognize the patients.  Sometimes, if the patients don't feel up to having visitors the nurse asks them their favorite color and we just give the perfect scarf/hat to the nurse to deliver.  In this case, it became obvious that the reason we didn't see this patient was that she and her mom spoke very little English.  She was in her early 20's and her mom likely in her late 40's.  The mother seemed more out of sorts -- out of her element -- than even the daughter, who seemed hunkered down for this battle, having clearly already fought some skirmishes and won.  I sat close to the mom who hung on my every broken Spanish word.  Luckily I spoke enough to find out that what they both wanted to know was what motivated us to do this and who all the knitters were.  I told them that mostly it was friends and friends of friends of friends, and so on.  They were tickled pink by this idea.  I told them that everyone who donated crocheted and knitted with love for the patients, intending that that love reach them through the scarves and hats and make them feel loved even when they were alone.  They loved it.

I then met the mother of a patient who was not well enough to receive us.  We gave  scarves and hats to her and her daughter.  The daughter, it turned out, was also a doctor. The mother was a cancer survivor and very clearly having a hard time. I learned from Shannon, who has delivered with us several times, to better read when someone could use a hug.   I asked if I could give the mom a hug and she started sobbing in my arms, explaining in broken English that she had gotten through her own cancer with relative ease, that she was a warrior, "but is different."  She received the love with an open heart and went back into her daughter's room to yet again support her as best she could.  She looked a little like she was going back into battle.  

The loved ones sometimes need us even more than the patients.  This delivery day it seemed especially true.  

These scarves and hats really make a difference.  If you have gotten this far in this post, and if you are inspired, please spread the word about the Love Scarf Project.  We also deliver in NYC at Columbia Presbyterian.  And at City of Hope we always run out of people's first choice colors, so we can ALWAYS use more donations.  So please pass on the word to your friends, colleagues, family members who knit or crochet, who might want to make a difference. 

Monday, November 09, 2015

City of Hope Valentine's Day Delivery - 2015 Report + Looking Forward to to 2/14/16

Love Scarf delivery for 2015 was done on February 13th this year since Valentine's Day fell on the weekend when staffing is more limited.  Also patients sometimes go home for weekends, if they are well enough, so we got to touch more patients by going on Friday. Love Scarf delivery for 2016 will be on February 12th.

We got to see a lot of patients.  We always ask if they'd like a hug, and many of them do want one.  Here was one beautiful hug by our Best Love Scarf Hugger, Shannon.

We always end up having JUST ENOUGH scarves and hats for everyone to have their favorite color -- or very close.  Susie Fry Littlefield who has been one of our most prolific donors -- she knits AND she inspires many to knit for us! -- laid out some of her group's 2015 donations in the next three photos.  Wow, right?!

This was the very first donation to arrive for the 2015 delivery. Many come with just the most precious notes, the sentiments of which we pass on with the scarves and hats.

Around this time of year, I start to freak out that there won't be enough donations.  Over the weekend I was having a little anxiety attack about it and this photo came in from Sharon Euler, one of our most prolific knitters.  Check out her post to the Facebook Group (please join us at Love Scarf Project on Facebook):
"I was out and about this afternoon and stopped at a garage sale in my neighborhood. When I told them I was using the yarn to make chemo caps - they gave me whole box.  So grateful. I have some knitting to do."
Sharon has ALREADY knit all of these hats!!!!!!
Thank God for Sharon and Susie!   But we always need more donations of scarves and hats!  At the end of our rounds, the pickings get slimmer for their favorite colors.   Also, the very excellent news is that the left over scarves and hats are left with the hospital.  Throughout the rest of the year, they give care packages to the patients when they are struggling or feeling down.  The Love Scarf hats and scarves are put in the packages.
I once went to a friend's book signing in Santa Monica, CA.  In the line waiting to have our books signed, the woman in front of me started talking about knitting, so I told her about the project.  She became emotional immediately because HER FATHER had received a care package when he was at City of Hope.  He still wears his scarf and hat knowing that they were made with LOVE.
So, your donations make a difference.  If you don't knit or crochet, please pass the word!
With love and gratitude to you all!

A Tiny Detour + a LOVEly Little Redirect

If you are looking for the Love Scarf Project site, please click on this link:

But while you are here check out this box of yarn found by one of our top donors, Sharon Euler, at a garage sale.  She told the woman at the sale that she would buy some for the Love Scarf Project and the woman gave her the whole box!!!!  Talk about LOVE!

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Christmas LSP Delivery - Edwards Hospital

We gathered together around 100 pieces to give to the cancer patients at Edwards Hospital in the suburbs of Chicago.  We caroled and handed out the scarves and saw many tears.  It was very rewarding to gather hand knit items from around the world (Turkey! Spain!) and give them to those receiving infusions days before Christmas.

We made a little video so that all of you who sent in items could be a part of it:


Monday, November 17, 2014

Lion Brand Studio

The Lion Brand Studio in NYC Has the most PERFECT window to match our project! Knitting for Charity!

Can you believe that is ENTIRELY knitted?

Send NYC scarves and hats to:

Glass Posse
PO BOX 1151
LIC NY 11101

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Spread the word! Share this video!

This holiday season, donate a hand knit/crocheted scarf or hat to a cancer patient spending time in the hospital.

Send all handmade items by December 5th to:

PO BOX 1151
LIC NY 11101

Each donor will be entered into a prize raffle to win a few VLOGGY prizes.

Side project: We will be yarn bombing an abandoned playground, so please send in swatches too!  If you want to add to the PRIZE booty that is also welcome!


Monday, November 03, 2014

NEW YORK CITY Love Scarf Project


Knit/Crochet a scarf or hat to give to a cancer patient this holiday season!

Send in all items by December 5th:

LSP c/o Glass Posse
PO BOX 1151
LIC NY 11101


Sunday, November 02, 2014

Valentine's Day 2014 at City of Hope

It was a spectacular Valentine's Day for all of us delivery people -- Karen, Elisa, Elizabeth and me.  The patients were so incredibly moved by each and every scarf.  Even when their energy was profoundly compromised they all lit up at least a little when they got to choose their very favorite colors.  And, we had plenty of red and pink, which tend to be grabbed up fast on Valentine's Day, to last until the very last patient's room was visited.

There were lots of hugs, smiles and tears all around.  And, one of the best parts is hearing the stories.  Sometimes they just want to tell the story of their journey that brought them from what they thought was perfect health to the City of Hope.  They also love to tell us how well cared for they are at COH.

All the scarves are cleaned and put into plastic bags so that they can see all their options.  We gave everyone the option to take a scarf and a hat, and to also choose something for their mom, wife or husband who might be visiting or coming later in the day to celebrate Valentine's Day.   Some of the men gave us the biggest grins of the day when we told them they didn't have to go shopping for Valentine's Day!  They loved picking out the perfect scarf or hat for their loves.

It was a truly magical day for all of us.

Elisa with the magic scarf delivery wagon!


One of the patients who LOVED his hat and scarf!  He chose Valentine's Day colors!


The delivery crew:  Karen, Elisa Bruley and Elizabeth Keyishian Wilks

Bridget (middle) with patient and his family.