Church ‘Blankets’ Hospice Patients
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Church ‘Blankets’ Hospice Patients 

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“Threads of Hope” group provides love and comfort to Sentara Hospice patients

April 10, 2009 – Chesapeake, VA – What began as a brief notice in the local newspaper inviting members of the community to provide blankets for Sentara Home Care Hospice patients as a holiday project, turned into a ministry of providing terminally ill patients with blankets to comfort them. 

Jean Isom, a member of Deep Creek Baptist Church in Chesapeake, saw the news brief describing Sentara Hospice Program’s need and asked her Pastor, Larry Ryals, about publishing the request for blankets in their church bulletin. With his endorsement, the "Threads of Hope" group emerged. Twelve members of the church community responded to the invitation. Rather than purchase blankets, the members decided to create the blankets through knitting, crocheting or tying them. The group's leader is a 94-year-old church member who serves as the knitting/crocheting instructor, but above all, serves as the inspiration to share one's gifts, despite health issues or discomforts. 

"It's thrilling to witness the gifts of age and experience expressed through this ministry," said Pastor Larry Ryals as they made the latest delivery of 40 blankets to Sentara’s Hospice office. "It's encouraging and valuable for younger people to witness the vibrancy and talents of this group in service to others."

Since October 2008, more than 250 blankets have been donated by community groups for hospice patients. Lyn Carroll, RN, Sentara Hospice Volunteer Coordinator is thrilled to receive each delivery of blankets. "The patients can hardly believe someone would create a blanket just for them. It's very comforting to know of the caring that goes into each creation."

The "Threads of Hope" group welcomes donations of yarn to support their project.  Contact Kay Bray at (757) 482-0966 or Jean Isom at (757) 547-9085 for more information.


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