VNA Foundation Accountant Tricia Palmer and her mom, Barbara Palmer, have been donating their time and talent crocheting beautiful blankets for VNA Hospice patients for over a year – and loving it. “There’s something special about giving someone a blanket at this stage of their life…it feels good to do,” says Tricia. “It’s a small thing, but to somebody it could be a huge thing.”
“That’s because a blanket is like an embrace,” her mom says.
The mother-daughter crochet team are known as “Blanket Buddies,” an endearing nomenclature they share with several other volunteers who also participate in this unofficial group. “Blanket Buddies” is overseen by Sara Bumgarner, VNA Volunteer Services Manager, who is quite fond of it – for a few key reasons. “It’s an activity volunteers can do from home, and volunteer-from-home activities are really needed right now due to the pandemic,” says Bumgarner. “And you can feel the love in every blanket. It provides a personal touch to the care we give.”
“And makes a hospice feel like a home,” quips Barbara.
Sara provides Tricia, Barbara and the other ‘Blanket Buddies’ with yarn, either traditional hospice colors, white and purple, or patriotic red, white and blue colors for hospice patients who are veterans. Next year, Sara would like to make the veterans a flag blanket, but there are only flag patterns for large blankets and not lap blankets, so Tricia has offered to create one. “It’s a great challenge mentally, but it doesn’t feel like work,” says Tricia. “(And) what better way to honor the veterans that are in hospice care?”
Her mom concurs. “A lot of time they don’t have family and we can be the family they need and might not be there,” she says.