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I cried my way through STITCHES East
by DrewEmborsky
on 11/17/13 11:19 am
by emborsky on 11/17/13 11:11 am
Categories: Giving

The weekend of STITCHES East in Hartford was one of many many emotions. There were of course all the fun times seeing other teachers and vendors that make the STITCHES circuit. There was the joy of seeing new people discover my yarns and watching them go through all the Decades and birthstone colors!

And there was the ugly cry.

A lot.

Because there was a LOT of love floating around the event this time and I have all of you to thank. When I put out the call for chemo caps to celebrate Halos of Hope and bring comfort to people going through cancer treatment I knew that many would step up. It's just who we are as crocheters and knitters - we love to give. 

I had no idea that we would receive one thousand, five hundred, and eight hats.

Let me repeat that:
 
1,508

Cue the ugly cry..

I was just stunned as person after person dropped off bags of hats to the collection area in my booth. Then my friend Michele from Boye Needles who so nicely offered to receive any hats that were shipped, got the call from her son Logan who volunteered to count all the hats, and once we combined all the numbers, we had collected 1,508 caps for cancer patients.

Pam Haschke from Halos of Hope, me, Michele Muska from Boye

But Wait, There's More

A lovely lady named Phyllis was walking past with her friends, and her lack of hair told volumes, so Pam from Halos of Hope said "why don't you choose a hat". She picked one that she described as "happy" and doesn't it look amazing on her?!



My eyes are bit puffy in the pic, again it's the whole ugly cry thing. On top of everything else Phyllis happened to pick a hat that was made with my yarn (Sarcastic - a super soft cotton) and it was crocheted by my sister! I truly hope the hat will continue to give comfort and hope during this difficult period of treatment for her!

And then it happened again...

Just like last year I was at the Student Banquet minding my own business. Actually having a pretty good time. I had the lovely ladies from Fiesta Yarns on one side of me, my sister Debra on the other, and we were joined by some amazing colleagues across from us. Great conversation, good food, then Benjamin Levisay came on stage to start the second half of the evening. And if you know Benjamin you'll not be surprised at how generous his spirit is.

Benjamin is the CEO of XRX that produces the amazing STITCHES events around the country. He is known for being the emcee at the events, and he didn't disappoint once again. And in the generous spirit that I mentioned, he yielded the stage to Pam from Halos of Hope so that she could continue to build awareness for her non-profit. (If you'd like to read the full story of Pam and Halos of Hope be sure to visit her site here: Halos of Hope).

During her presentation she mentioned and thanked everyone that helped make my Chemo Cap Challenge a Success collectiong 1,508 hats! 

For some reason that cued the ugly cry again. Hello ugly cry, I AM IN PUBLIC...

And then she announced that the board of directors of Halos of Hope was awarding me their Man of the Year award for a second year running. And could I please come onstage to receive it. May I remind you that I was already in the ugly cry. There was snot involved. 

It wasn't pretty.

With so much gratitude I made my way on stage, wiped away the tears and even took the microphone to say thank you. It went something like this:
Pam: Congratulations!!
Me: Whiii mee shablaaaa blossstum... (that continued for what seemed like 20 minutes)
Pam: Back to your seat Crochet Dude, you're a mess.

She didn't really say that but I kinda wish she had. Not only was I in full-blown ugly cry, I was on stage, in public, with a microphone, trying to talk.

Thank YOU!!!

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone that sent in a hat and to everyone that brought in a hat. The hats are now being distributed to cancer centers to bring comfort to many many people. I'm still waiting for the list of names and orginazations that participated in making the chemo caps, and as soon as Logan emails them to me I will give a shout out to all of you.

A very very VERY special thank you to my friends at Boye Needles (a division of Simplicity Creative Group) - they very generously stepped up and offered to pay for all the shipping of these hats. If you get a chance, go to their Facebook page and tell them "thank you" for me. It's the cost of shipping that is the real challenge for Halos of Hope and to have someone like Boye step up it truly makes all the difference!!!

Onward

And sadly there is a continued need for hats as people enter cancer treatment every day. But we have the power to bring them even a sliver of hope and happiness through our efforts as fiber folks. So crochet, knit, or sew a hat this week and send it in. You can get all the guideline information and addresses of drop off locations here:

Halos of Hope chemo cap donation info




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Comments

crochetkween
-
December 4, 2013, 5:42 pm
Very touching story, Drew. I knew Pam when....and now I'm leading a Cancer & Crochet Support Group at my local hospital.
veer1971
-
January 15, 2014, 2:31 am
Empathy is sometimes the best remedie! Keep crying, crochetdude!
Kind regards, Veronique van Wessel, the Netherlands