When Alice’s granddaughter grew frustrated about making mistakes while knitting blankets, the hospice volunteer explained it wasn’t perfection that made these items special – these “love stitches” gave each pattern a personal touch, making them unique and heartfelt.

Now, these beautifully imperfect knitted blankets and shawls are gifted to Hospice of Health First through Love Stitches, a group of volunteers who painstakingly create the items. The Hospice team immediately knew what an impact this loving handmade touch would mean for terminally ill patients.

“Some of our patients were knitters in the past, and when they receive a handmade item, it means the world to them,” shared Susan, volunteer services coordinator with Hospice of Health First. “I have also had several veteran patients cry when we handed them a red, white and blue knitted blanket. It’s very moving to witness. I am so glad that we are able to do this for our families.”

To date, Love Stitches has created more than 70 “fidget blankets” for Alzheimer’s patients, designed to sooth the fidgeting of individuals suffering from memory loss. The volunteer effort has also given patients more than 500 blankets and shawls, including red, white and blue blankets honoring our veterans during pinning ceremonies. Hospice and Love Stitches have also provided more than 250 handmade aprons and bibs to male and female patients to preserve their dignity in facility settings.

“Hospice is a very high-touch field, and the ability for our clinicians to access these special labors of love means the world to us and the families we serve,” Susan said.