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This year, rather than coinciding with a Netroots Nation conference, we delivered on March 10, 2016 to the hospital local to me.  As it turns out, the timing was good.  We were told that March can be a thinner time for gifts of comfort items to the VA so our gifts will be immediately useful.

The quilts may be used by patients in the hospital or in hospice.  The Chief of Volunteers, Shaun Benson, showed us the labels that are stitched onto quilts used in hospice — they tell the recipient that the quilt was made for them with love.  Once the veteran in hospice has passed away, the quilt is given to the family as a memento.  It goes without saying that these gifts are greatly treasured.

Hats and scarves are great for the VA’s homeless outreach program — but are also used for the patients.  Particularly the hats — very good for anyone undergoing chemo or in hospice.  And the teddy bears!  They were a big hit.  Mr. Benson said that he could see them as a welcome and very kind gift for young children visiting with their veteran parents who may be receiving services at the hospital.

From l to r: winglion, Sara R, llbear, Sarah — photo by Angela Marx

Mr. Benson called down an in house photographer to record our visit — their photos have appeared on the hospital's Facebook page.  So check out that link for more pictures!

All gifts of comfort items are tax deductible.  I gave the volunteer office a list of names and addresses of anyone requesting a receipt.  So those should be coming in the mail sometime soon.  If you would like to give a cash gift or send comfort items to the Portland VA Hospital, see this webpage.  Or look for the volunteer page of the VA hospital near you!

Thanks to everyone who participated!  We will do this again next year.  We can donate here in Portland again in March — or to another hospital if it seems provident.

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