Wrapped in God’s Grace – Even During COVID-19

Check out the busy hands of a crocheter from St. John the Evangelist, Hamilton, and connect her to a volunteer of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton. What do you get? By God’s grace, a volunteer co-ordinator who needs such works of love for her patients.

During a simple phone conversation one day, Melodie Pritchard, a relatively new volunteer with St. Joseph’s, casually asked me if there would be any interest from the members of St. John’s Craft Group in participating in St. Joe’s recently advertised Three Wishes project. After briefly explaining its work for palliative patients, I said I’d keep my ears open and find out.

With the onset of COVID-19, Giselle Weaver found that she had extra time on her hands, so she busily took to what she enjoys most: crochet. While most knitters say that crocheting involves more work, for Giselle, crocheting gives her time to reflect and relax. As the pandemic continued, Giselle asked me for somewhere to donate these lap blankets. 

Giselle Weaver (L) giving one of six blankets to Melodie Pritchard (R). Although their smiles are concealed, the gift of loving care speaks loudly as they hold one of seven lap blankets made by Giselle. 

By God’s grace, Giselle asked the right pair of ears! 

The connection was simple after that. One day in the early summer, Giselle presented Melodie with four blankets she had been working on. Melodie was thrilled, and the St. Joseph’s volunteer co-ordinator was too! As the summer crept on, Giselle made three more lap blankets, and we took pictures of them being presented. 

The Three Wishes project provides a layer of human comfort for patients and creates healing memories for their family to treasure. Tina Sanders, Volunteer Resources Co-ordinator at the Charlton Campus, explains that the lap blankets enhance the dignity of dying for critically ill patients and their families. The lap blanket help keep the patient cozy, and upon passing away, the lap blanket is then given to the family, serving as a gentle bridge between the patient and their loved ones. The lap blanket is a tangible token of affection and care, a gift made with love. Giselle can tell you how much love goes into every single stitch! 

Calling for lap blankets, pocket pals and hearts, the volunteer resources at St. Joseph’s Hospital provide patterns for these crafts, welcoming gifts of crocheted hearts and small knitted creatures for all ages, a comforting measure while in hospital. Such gifts offer patients tangible support and love by reducing anxiety and feelings of loneliness while separated from loved ones. 

If you are interested in offering your knitting, crocheting or sewing skills (they are also in need of help making PPE), please contact Tina Sanders, Volunteer Resources Co-ordinator at the Charlton Campus.

Thanks to Giselle and Melodie for giving of themselves to others in creating beautiful blankets to ease the ending of life. Moreover, thanks be to God for raising up volunteer hands to find people who need love and support, and lap blankets. 

Grace abounds — even during COVID-19!