Warming hearts, little patients' heads
By Blake Belden, Staff Writer
Apr 25, 2014, 06:55
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO From left to right: Barbara Sheffield, Tina Jennings, Jacki Lamphire and Pauline Wright.
COLONIAL HEIGHTS — Four ladies from the Colonial Heights Church of the Nazarene donated more than 80 handmade hats to children with cancer in time for the Easter holiday.
Jacki Lamphire, Pauline Wright, Barbara Sheffield and Tina Jennings began their crocheting efforts about six weeks ago, with no goal in mind other than to make as many hats as possible before the holiday.
Having been inspired by homeless elementary and middle school students who came through the church of Sheffield’s aunt and the warmth of helping those in need, Wright brought up the idea of making hats for patients in the children’s cancer unit at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond.
Lamphire estimated that they made close to 100 hats, for both genders, each with their own design and unique appearance, over 80 of which were sent to VCU Medical Center and the rest were given to the homeless kids through Sheffield’s aunt’s church.
Jennings embraced the idea because she hoped that the hats would give recipients a source of hope and self-esteem in light of their unfortunate circumstances.
“I know that they’re already traumatized by the loss of their hair. ... If I lost my hair, I would be devastated. And a hat would make a big difference to me,” Jennings said, emphasizing that each hat offered the opportunity for personalized decorating.
For Sheffield, she felt good using her free time to do something for others.
“God gave me the talent ... to do this, so why not use it to bless other people?” Sheffield said, emphasizing that their act of goodwill serves to represent not just themselves as individuals, but the positive outreach of their church as well.
Lamphire, whose husband, Mike, is the pastor at the Church of the Nazarene, said that with the completion of each hat, there was a sense of satisfaction knowing that every new hat would hopefully put a smile on another child’s face.
For each of the four ladies, who have all been members of the Church of the Nazarene for well over a decade, it felt good to use their abilities for a worthy cause, in hopes of providing some outside affection for children experiencing difficult times.
Sheffield said that coming up with unique designs became a fun challenge for her as well, forcing her to learn new techniques, even ending up searching videos on Youtube to do so.
Each hat was delivered in an individual plastic bag with a note that personalized who made each one.
Continuing to look forward for opportunities to give to others, Wright mentioned that they might think about making hats for patients at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or fleece blankets for veterans.