During Tuesday night’s organizational meeting at Hospice LaGrange, the first LaGrange hospice Prayer Shawl Ministry was started.
This group of individuals decided that by using their knitting and crocheting talents, they would provide additional warmth and comfort to the patients, and their families, who are served by West Georgia Hospice. The group’s goal is for every patient, or a member of their family, to be given a shawl or lap blanket made by one of the members of the group.
Tammy Rogers is a West Georgia Hospice-trained volunteer and an enthusiastic and experienced knitter. Rogers, was the one who first proposed the idea of having people come together to produce handmade shawls and blankets for the hospice patients. Rogers then shared her idea with West Georgia Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, Tammy Forbus. Forbus also thought the idea was a good one and wasted no time in organizing this past Tuesday’s meeting.
Thirteen people attended this meeting and were eager to start the new project. After general introductions were made by Forbus, she then invited Rogers to explain the goal of the group to everyone. Rogers told of her inspiration for the project and explained the reasoning behind the giving of these handmade crafts.
“I came up with the idea partly from a personal connection and partly because I wanted to use my love of knitting to comfort hospice patients,” said Rogers. She then told the group that one of her family members had been given such a shawl and she had also made one for a niece who is battling breast cancer.
The shawls that the group is planning on making are commonly called prayer or friendship shawls. The shawls can be either crocheted or knitted but are to be made while the creator is consciously thinking of good thoughts and wishes for the eventual owner of the piece. No magical powers are associated with the construction of these shawls, just the thoughtful intentions of the creators are tucked in each stitch. Some people also include a small angel or cross attached to one of the shawl’s corners. The same thoughtfulness and methods may be used to construct lap blankets.
The West Georgia Hospice Director, Cathy Wiggins, was pleased to see all of the people who turned out to help the hospice patients.
“This is the 30th anniversary of West Georgia Hospice and I am extremely excited to see the formation of this Prayer Shawl Ministry, especially at this time,” said Wiggins. She also said that, depending on her schedule, she would love to be part of the group.
Besides the 13 participants who were present, another 10 individuals have already said that they want to be part of this group. The group, yet unnamed, is open to all community members and is still looking for additional volunteers. The group will be meeting once a month with individuals working on their projects at home between meetings. If you knit or crochet, and would like to volunteer your time and talents to helping the hospice patients here in LaGrange, please contact West Georgia Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, Tammy Forbus, at 706-845-3962. The Prayer Shawl Ministry’s October meeting will take place on at 7 p.m Oct. 16, at Hospice LaGrange.
Although, due to privacy issues, the hospice patients and the members of the Prayer Shawl Ministry are not able to know each others’ identities, the receiver of the article will most defiantly know that it was made with love and carries a silent, but strong, message of warmth and comfort.