My daughter Hannah has such a big heart. Ever since I taught her how to crochet, she’s been making things for everyone she knows, and only just recently made a lap blanket for herself when we’re watching TV. Because she loves to give more than she actually loves to receive, she decided to use her own money to buy her own yarn to make hats for cancer patients.
Her idea came out of the blue, it wasn’t my idea or anyone else’s. She asked me to find her a hat pattern online and away she went. She reads Highlights and Discovery Kids and National Geographic for kids; she might have gotten the idea to donate from other similar stories of stellar kids giving back to their communities. Whatever it was, she asked me when she’d made about 3-5 hats if she could donate them. I told her it wasn’t enough to make a good enough donation, and that I’d help her donate them when she’d made about 25.
She gave me a round-eyed look, knowing full well how long it would take to crochet 25 hats, but away she went, undaunted. When she’d made the hats, I suggested giving a small index card with each hat with her name and age on them, so the people would know who made it for them. Instead, we found some blank cards that said “For You” on the outside with a lovely floral pattern on the front and she wanted those instead.
Inside these cards, she wrote, “Made especially for you by Hannah, age 9″ along with a few different Bible verses, her favorites, of course.
I called two places, OHSU, which is the premiere cancer institute in the state of Oregon. After a couple days, they didn’t call back (I’d left a message on a machine) so I decided to call my local hospital, Tuality Community Hospital. It took them another day to get back to me (because I’d left another message – does every hospital leave their donation line to a machine?) and we were contacted by the Tuality Cancer Center, which is across the street from the hospital.
The lady there, whose name was “Hanna” as well (no ‘h’ at the end), but actually went by her middle name of Jean, was so very nice and scheduled an appointment for the following Friday for us to come in and spend some time. Hannah, my daughter, was a little disappointed she’d have to wait another week to donate, but was happy someone wanted them and responded back.
While we waited the next week, OHSU actually did get back to me. The donations lady had been on vacation, and no one had sent her my message until the day she called. She apologized for not getting back to me, but said they’d definitely be interested if my daughter made more hats, but that she understood we’d decided to go with another hospital.
So today was donation day and Hannah was so excited. They invited us back to their office where they had a plate of cookies they’d ordered especially for her, cookies in a heart shape. Of course, I’m sure it wasn’t too hard, since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. But the lady told me the doctor who treats the patients at the center has an account at the local bakery and orders donuts every Friday, so he just added on an order of heart-shaped cookies. Too cool!
After Hannah was presented with cookies, she got to meet all the other doctors and nurses on staff. One of them even had a tube of confetti he popped and we all cheered for her.
They opened her bag of hats and took some out for the table with the cookies and took a picture of Hannah, of which they had her and me sign a photo release form so they could photograph her. I snapped some pics with my iPhone.
Hanna Jean told us in the six years the cancer center has been in business, this is the first time someone has called and asked to donate something they’ve made. She said Hannah should feel special, not only because she’s the first, but because when you do nice things for people, you make the world a better place. I really should have taken a picture of the lady, but I didn’t think of it until just now. Ah well.
They wrapped up the cookies for us in a nice pretty gift bag with a bow and everything for her to take home. They said they’ll be handing out the adult hats at the center, and their doctor will take her smaller hats to the children, who apparently are treated at a different facility. One thing’s for sure, all work stopped when we came in and Hannah was the talk of the town. Even the patients in the waiting room were smiling and talking amongst themselves about what we were there to do. The entire time, Hannah was beaming, just so darn happy to do something nice for someone else. She’s already talking about making more hats. Perhaps next time, we’ll give them to OHSU.
Today is one of those days you feel like you’ve succeeded as a parent.
“Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” ~~Proverbs 20:11