Today is March 8th and it is International Women's Day. In the USA, under our current climate, there is a big movement for making it "a day without women" to show how much daily impact women have in our community. And I was planning to share a story about my grandma, the biggest female influence of my life, who passed many years ago and I live without daily. But I decided instead I would like to tell you about Pam. Pam is a 13 year cancer survivor and an amazing woman who is one women I'm incredibly glad we are NOT without. For International Women's Day, with this post, I want to celebrate her and tell you about her and our connection.
Pam H. Is the founder of Halos of Hope. She is a remarkable human being who, having survived cancer, realized that human connection can help change the way a person feels as they go through something like this and can have a healing power. And what better way to feel connected that the warmth and comfort of handmade. Pam founded Halos of Hope to bring hand knit and crochet caps and items of comfort to chemo patients around the country.
As Pam says in her bio: "My favorite scarves & hats were those that people made for me because I knew they were made with affection and love. And sometimes a soft cap works wonders when you tire of wearing the wig, or just need to kick about the house."
Those words ring true to me. A few years ago, upon request of a good customer, I sent a 'chemo cap' to a friend of hers battling cancer. She asked for a certain fiber since the hat would be touching her scalp and a certain style and shape so it would be comfortable. We worked together to make sure the item would be just what her friend was looking for.
And then, a few months later, long after I had moved on to many other orders and other customers, I received this note:
and my life changed. And my crochet business, changed. I knew instantly that, as Pam talks about in her bio, the touch of a handmade item can bring comfort to strangers in a way I hadn't imagined.
The next week, I reached out to Halos Of Hope to ask if I can partner with them in an ongoing manner and soon launched One-4-One. Since October 2014, for every single hat I sell, it means a chemo patient gets a handmade chemo cap. Handmade by me. I ship boxes of hats a few times a year to Halos of Hope that they distribute to one of over 400 cancer treatment centers. It's one of the biggest joys about my little business.
Even though I've been partnered with Halos of Hope since 2014, I didn't get to meet Pam until last year at Stitches Midwest. Meeting Pam in person was awesome. She is spunky and fun and fabulous and kind and exactly all the things you can imagine of such a kind person. I was blown away by this beautiful woman and sharing a few minutes with her.
We bounced around Stitches Midwest booths and laughed and it was so much fun to connect. I am so glad the world does not have to go without Pam today, or any other day. And I am so glad that she took her story and turned it into her mission to bring comfort to others. One remarkable woman.
If you would like donate a hat to Halos of Hope you can do so here.
Or if you would like to make a hat to send to Halos of Hope you can send it to:
(please do NOT send money or yarn)?
144 Stitches Chemo Caps Program
PO Box 86
Sycamore, IL 60178