PARKERSBURG - More than 30 shawls were donated Thursday at Camden Clark Medical Center Memorial Campus for the "Shawls of Support" program.
The program provides the handmade items to families of organ donors. The program was started earlier this year by Jenny Hoover, a bereavement services coordinator for Lifeline of Ohio.
"It's a brand, new program and we started it in June," Hoover said. "We spent the first few months finding volunteers to make the shawls and trying to raise awareness of the program. In September we started to give them out to the families."
Photo by Michael Erb
More than 30 shawls were donated Thursday at Camden Clark Medical Center Memorial Campus for the “Shawls of Support” program. With the donations are, from left, Florence Goff, volunteer; Teresa Adams, director of specialty care for Camden Clark; Ferra Lou Barringer, volunteer; Jenny Hoover, bereavement services coordinator for Lifeline of Ohio; Frances Holsinger, volunteer; Susan Abdella, director of emergency services for Camden Clark; Deidre Johnson, coding analyst for Camden Clark; Kathy Warhola of Lifeline of Ohio; and June Kuhn, manager of the emergency department at the Camden Clark St. Joseph’s Campus.
Each shawl is accompanied with a card that says the item was handmade by a volunteer.
"The response has been so amazing," Hoover said. The families "feel comforted. It gives us a chance to tell the families it is more than just the donation: We really do care about them."
The program also has received a positive response from volunteers, many of whom are from donor families or who are all retired and are looking for a way to give back to the community.
"It's given them a new purpose," Hoover said.
The shawls are given to families at the hospitals when they are meeting to talk about a loved one's donation, and in some cases the shawls can be mailed to a family if there is no in-hospital meeting.
Hoover said officials hope to expand the program to include the families of tissue donors.
Those interested in learning more about the program or in making a donation can contact Hoover via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (614) 384-7358.
Lifeline of Ohio is an independent, non-profit organization which promotes and coordinates the donation of human organs and tissue for transplantation. The group serves 37 Ohio counties as well as Wood and Hancock counties in West Virginia.