Feb
6
2013

A Headband for a Stranger

 

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As you have probably seen, we began posting patterns for headbands (ear warmers) in September 2012. The original idea was to make them for our own families and then make some to donate. One day I was talking to my friend Kathy who works at the local hospital with people who suffer from alcohol and/or drug addiction. Some of those people are homeless, others have homes and families, but no ability to pay for necessary treatment or rehabilitation. I was sad to find out that most of those people come to see doctor when it is too late. Sometimes their condition is so severe that the best treatment may not be able to save their lives. Many of them die. If these people were sick with let’s say cancer, there would be a possibility of paying for their treatment through charitable donations, but very few choose to help those whose lives revolve around drugs and alcohol. People addicted to drugs and alcohol tend to have relapses in treatments. This is especially true if these addictions are a lifelong habit.

 

Kathy thought it would be nice to give these patients a little gift. Not a hat, or a warm blanket for their physical comfort, but rather a beautiful headband to help them feel loved when no one cares, and most of all to make them feel beautiful.

 

Our crocheters supported the idea with excitement. We started making headbands in October. Since we meet once a month and there are not so many of us in the Group, we decided to keep crocheting headbands into November and December. We made about 30 headbands. Most people made 1 or 2, but we have some enthusiasts that made and donated as many as 9 or 12! They were all beautiful! We used 4 different patterns, dozens of colors and color combinations, and beautiful, crocheted flowers with bright happy buttons in the middle. It was so much fun to see people trying to play with colors and patterns to make them look more beautiful. This was definitely a contagious project!

 

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On December 20th, I gathered all our beautiful headbands and took them to Kathy. This is a letter I received from her right after Christmas:

 

 

“I have delivered some of the headbands. I have taken 10 to Providence [a local hospital] to be given to the homeless ladies and the ones that really need a very special gift. I will continue to give them throughout the winter also. I will also get the feedback from the patients that receive them and let you know their reactions.”

 

Kathy went farther, she shared what was left with another program, Volunteers of America. She continues:
“I gave 8 or 9 to the Volunteers of America project.”

 

And further:
“I also gave 9 to the Volunteers or America residential treatment program for substance abuse that treats adolescents. A lot of the kids depend on the staff for gifts. The head bands were given on Christmas Eve. I received a call from the staff as they opened them. She says I wish you could all see the reactions of these girls. They were so touched that someone would think of them and make something that they all really liked. She says they traded and matched them with their clothes and they were all so grateful and pleased. They want to know a name of the group that can be thanked and they also come back and ask if someone would be willing to teach them to make them. My friend was so touched by their response and appreciation she believes it was the highlight of Christmas for some of them.
I thank all who made them and donated them. There will be responses to come and a lot of gratitude. Again a BIG THANK-YOU for all your kindness and talents.
-Kathy”

 

She sent this letter to all crocheters-participants of this project. All were able to see how their work and their love touched someone else. Unfortunately, due to the confidentiality we have not been able to see the smiles on recipients’ faces, but this grateful reaction touched our hearts in a special way. We were able to feel the spirit of Christmas and the spirit of Christ the day we received a response to our gift.

 

This experience became a very tender part of Christmas for me personally. I reflect upon this occasion often. I am amazed at the level of gratitude which we did not expect to hear or learn about. I am amazed at the readiness of individuals to help someone they will never see. I am amazed at the time and effort people put into this project, just to help a stranger feel beautiful. Thank you, my dear friends, for being a wonderful influence for good. You just did something for someone, somewhere.

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About the Author: Arina Purcella

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