Friday, September 16, 2016

Stitches from the heart

A sewing ministry of Calvary United
Methodist Church, York, Pa.

The ladies from Stitches of the Heart display the “ugly mittens” they made and donated to the York Dialysis Center for their patients.

By Pamela Brossman

When Treva Andrews finished knitting the six baby hats her friend Pat Jacoby asked her to help make for donations to their local hospital, she was inspired to continue using her craft to benefit her community. So in May 2015, she and Jacoby started Stitches from the Heart with four other ladies from their church, Calvary United Methodist Church in York, Pa. Their mission is to create and donate items that will bring joy, comfort, and warmth to those who receive them. One year later, the group has grown to nearly 40 members from all faiths and denominations. Currently, the churches represented are Calvary United Methodist Church, St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, Union Lutheran Church, Church of the Open Door, and St. Jacob’s (Stone) Lutheran Church.

In its first year of ministry, Stitches from the Heart has made and donated 946 pieces including mittens, scarves, hats, baby blankets, baby hats, blankets and quilts, “ugly mittens” for dialysis patients, lap robes, purses, prayer squares, and bandages for the Vietnam Leper Colony to the following organizations:

Tender Loving Care Ministries
Access York
Ascera Care Hospice
Bell Socialization Services
Children’s Aid Society (Lehman Center)
New Hope Ministries, Dover
New Life for Girls, Dover
United Methodist Children’s Home
Pleasant Acres Nursing Facility
Veteran’s Helping Hand for Homeless
Wellspan NICU (York Hospital)
DOVE Bandage Brigade
York Dialysis Center
York City Scarf Blitz
Wellspan Community Health Center
PPA Ministries (formerly Tender Loving Care Ministries)
as well as several individual “Special Circumstance Donations”

While their hands are busy knitting, crocheting, sewing, and quilting, this talented group of ladies also has a lot of fun while working hard. This past January, they became “scarf fairies,” braving the cold while tying 136 scarves to poles, trees, and benches throughout York City at 3 a.m. This top-secret mission for the homeless even made the front page of the local paper, The York Dispatch. One of the group’s favorite projects is their “ugly mittens.” When the York Dialysis Center requested 150 ugly mittens the group did not hesitate. To date, they have given them 99 mittens that are indeed not “ugly” but rather not your traditional mitten. Pam Earll, R.N., of DaVita Healthcare Partners, explains:

“Stitches from the Heart is an amazing group of women who have contributed to making many dialysis patients’ lives more comfortable as they dialyze at the York DaVita Dialysis Center. During dialysis, the patients can experience a cold arm and hand. If they were to cover their arm with a blanket, the nurses and technicians wouldn’t be able to see their access, which could become a safety issue. These ‘ugly mittens’ allow the patient to have a warm hand and arm while dialyzing, yet remain safe during treatment. And, because the ladies made the mittens in such great colors and patterns, they are fun.”

And their hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Recently, Stitches from the Heart was recognized as an Outstanding Charity group by the York County Family and Consumer Science Association.
Stitches from the Heart meets biweekly on Tuesday mornings at Calvary United Methodist Church, 11 N. Richland Ave., York, PA. If you would like to learn more about the Stitches from the Heart ministry or how you can make a donation or be a part of this ministry, contact Calvary United Methodist Church at 717-843-2990.

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