Posted by Nataliya Semez on December 13, 2010
Winter is upon us in the western hemisphere and this year, we are ready! Throughout 2010, our local Edmonds community sent more than 400 handmade knit hats as donations to children receiving chemotherapy in Russia, Uzbekistan, USA, Guatemala and Mexico. Now, we are hearing stories of the children enjoying their hats. Below are excerpts from the blogs of team members who visited the children in Russia, Uzbekistan and Mexico to present the hats.
Fashion show in Russia, Reported by Alexandra, MaxStation Russia
What a visit with the children in Irkutsk, Russia! Thanks to the generosity of American volunteer knitters, I hand delivered love and care to Irkutsk children in the form of hats!!! Kids were so happy trying hats on that the room started to look like a fashion show. We had great fun!!!
The patients and their families were both surprised and curious to know more about us and our work in different countries. While delivering the hats, I also collected tribute messages of support to cancer survivors everywhere.
‘Rakhmat’ (Thank you) from Uzbekistan, Reported by Alexandra, MaxStation Russia
Young children and their families in the local Children’s Hospital in Tashkent were invited to gather all together in the small playroom, along with the lead physician Dr. Kazakbaeva and her assistant Nargiza, for the presentation of the hats as gifts to each of them.
At first, the children looked surprised and puzzled. After their being introduced by their physician, I opened my bag and started giving out hats to the children. Mothers were smiling and saying "Rakhmat" which is 'Thank you" in the Uzbek language and some children smiled, but the rest of them still appeared surprised. Dr. Kazakbaeva assured me that kids were just feeling shy since they are not used to such attention in the hospital.
Even though the children were shy, it was an honor knowing that the hats were appreciated and would bring joy and comfort to the children.
Magic in Mexico City, Reported by Mariana, MaxStation Mexico
I want to share a moment when I felt like a magician; someone who suddenly appeared with gifts of hats; and suddenly disappeared back into the cloud. This is the first year that Mexico participated in the “With Love in Every Stitch” program and I was to visit the National Institute of Pediatrics along with a volunteer named Gina.
I started my tour from room to room; going from one smile to another smile; also facing some tears, silence, and especially gratitude. In the first room we spent about 15 minutes searching in all the bags for a hat that fit with every face. Purple hats, white hats, big hats, small hats, hats with flowers, and so many more...
We visited the floor where all the kids with cancer are admitted. In every room are eight children (a bed and a chair each) with a glass wall facing the corridor and no doors to close. These children lose not only their health; but also their privacy. When I went into the first room; I didn't know exactly what to say or how to approach to these children. And some of them were looking at me just as shy as I was. It seemed like the kids and I both started out shy, but every minute spent together my shyness was disappearing and theirs, too.
I went into every room and into the place where children receive chemotherapy; I said hello to every single boy and girl no matter if he was two years old or 18. There was magic in those hats. I know went I went out of the hospital a different person, a magician who instead of pulling a rabbit out of the hat; pulled hats from a bag; and with the hats, pulled out smiles from the faces of children in Mexico City.
Visit our gallery to see photos of the children in Russia, Uzbekistan and Mexico enjoying their hats.