Capital Caring Health’s volunteers are often hard at work creating meaningful experiences and lasting memories for our patients and their families. Recently, some of our talented volunteers flexed their artistic muscles, sewing pillows, bears, and quilts for the bereaved. These items are made from the cherished clothes of loved ones who have passed, adding an individualized touch to enhance the connection.
Over the past several months, our volunteers have used their talents to express appreciation for military Veterans. Volunteer Mary Emerick is a veteran herself, having served in the Air Force. She believes that “no one suffering a terminal illness should rest their head on a stark white pillowcase.” This sentiment inspired the Capital Caring Health volunteer team to launch their patriotic pillowcase project. To aid in the endeavor, volunteer Darlene McCoy helped to arrange a $250.00 grant from Thrivent Financial to help pay for the supplies. The group’s goal is to produce 300 patriotic pillowcases for veterans living in long term care facilities. The team will deliver theses pillowcases at a series of military ceremonies in November to celebrate Veterans Day. The volunteers will create additional decorative pillowcases for non-Veterans in attendance. The group has committed 100 extra pillowcases for Capital Caring Health’s pediatric patients and siblings. These pillowcases will be “Santa Sacks,” wrapped in ribbons and filled with stocking stuffers for patients to open during the Holidays.
Our volunteers’ passion for generating joy in the communities we serve is evident. Darlene McCoy, Mary Emerick, and Laurie Sisson, three leaders among the group, indicate that flexibility and perseverance are crucial for completing their projects. The team has spent hours cutting materials, scouring neighborhoods for particularly nostalgic fabrics, and originating unconventional, personalized designs when required.
Not only do these volunteers serve their community, but they have also created a community among themselves. Describing the group, Laurie says, “it has become a little bit more than just a group of people working…we love it, it is good friends running a business.” Mary, whose husband recently passed, has spent time creating memory bears for her loved ones. In turn, Laurie created a memory bear for Mary. This act of friendship brought a great deal of comfort into Mary’s life, who says she can feel the spirit of her loved one within the bear. For Mary, the bear is a token of love she can carry with her and turn to whenever needed. Their work aims to cultivate that comfort for hundreds.
These volunteers pour their hearts into each pillowcase, bear, or quilt to deliver a memorable creation for patients and families. While discussing their time, these volunteers noted that they were “constantly amazed and constantly grateful” for the support of Katherine Knoble, Capital Caring Health’s Director of Community and Volunteer Engagement, as well as their entire volunteer team.
We too are grateful for our volunteers’ commitment, passion, and innovation manifested in their acts of kindness. Their spirit truly embodies our core values.
If you are interested in volunteering, click here for our Volunteer Application