Okay, so first, let me apologize for the fact that I am publishing yet another post that doesn't involve photos of my current knitting projects...this post is a pretty important one, so I hope that even without visuals, you continue reading...
For the last year, I have been involved with the WCOBBS. I post often about blankets we are working on, and about 6 months ago, I asked for my readers to consider bidding on auction items for a fundraiser we were hosting. Well, again, I am asking for your support.
The WCOBBS is an organization that has made a major impact on my life....though the other knitters/crocheters probably have no idea just how much. When I was pregnant with Hannah, I decided that I was going to reconnect with my past and give knitting another chance. I went to AC Moores, bought two jumbo balls (Lion Brand Pound of Love) of yarn, and cast on a yellow and white baby blanket. I made lots of mistakes, cursed a lot, but felt so wonderful that I was making something for my little one. Then, when I was 20 weeks pregnant, we found out that she was going to be born with a major heart defect. My desire to continue the blanket was gone. What if I was making this botched up blanket for a baby who would never live to see it?? I just couldn't get my focus back.
Thankfully, my story has a happier ending than that of many. Hannah was born with the defect, but has been doing great! When she was born, she received several blankets in the hospital. One was a beautiful quilt in the NICU, and the other was a striped crocheted blanket in the PICU after her first open heart surgery. The nurses explained to us that there were groups who made these blankets and donated them to the hospital. It was at this point that I decided that I needed to pick up my needles again...my focus was back.
Upon moving to Calgary, and being introduced to Ravelry by a childhood friend, I found the WCOBBS. This was the motivation that I needed. Not only did I finish that botched up yellow and white blanket, but I continued working on other projects too. Then, in March 2009, I worked on my first OBB...Peter Rabbit. The joy that working on that blanket brought to me is priceless. Since then, I have worked on 7 different blankets, and every one of them hold a special place in my heart.
Each time I write a little note in the journal that accompanies each blanket, I think about the little person who will be receiving it, as well as the crafters who donated their skills to my Hannah. I guess I always thought of each row I knit as a little thank you to those individuals who I will never have the honor of meeting.
Shortly after I joined the WCOBBS, I learned of a little girl who had recieved one of the WCOBBS blankets. There were two things about this girl that stuck out in my mind, one, I thought it was so amazing that the group was able to know who recieved one of their blankets, and two, the little one had a heart condition, just like Hannah. Over the last year, the family of this little one blessed our organization by sending updates on how she was doing. There were ups and downs, but each of us prayed and kept the faith that this little one would have a happy ending.
Sadly, a few weeks ago, we were notified that this little angel earned her wings. She lost her battle with her CHD shortly before her first birthday. I still break down just thinking about the loss that her parents must feel...and how easily it could be me in their shoes.
After sitting back and taking the whole situation in, I decided that something must be done to honor this special little life. In my opinion, there is a reason why the WCOBBS was brought into this family's life. So, I suggested that we collect funds to donate in her name to a charity that provides help to families like hers. Because our crafters represent all of Western Canada, it was suggested that the organization that we chose would do the same. It is for this reason that the Ronald McDonald House in Edmonton, Alberta was chosen. All children from Western Canada go to Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton for their heart surgeries, so the Ronald McDonald House is a place that offers a service to these families.
So, for the month of January, all donations made on the WCOBBS Donation site will be going to the Ronald McDonald House in this little angel's name. I ask that you consider making a donation...of any amount. If you prefer to donate to a more local organization to where you live, please do so...and keep this little angel in your thoughts when you do.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope that 2010 is a wonderful year for all of you!! Happy New Year!!