Pioneers of Peace » Pioneers of Peace Walk Not Just Talk

When an Empty Basket is a Good Thing



An empty basket is a beautiful thing after it’s precious contents have found a home.

Last Thursday I delivered all of the preemie and baby hats that were generously hand-knit and donated, to Utah Valley Hospital.

I had originally intended to donate them to Primary Children’s Hospital, but learned on the day I was going to deliver them, that PCMC does not accept baby hats. What!!!??? Needless to say I learned the hard way that it’s important to call FIRST; knit second. I don’t know why they don’t accept baby hats but I heard through the grapevine that a local community group donated 500 hats. I was reminded of what a “novice” I am at this “compassionate knitting” thing  and worried about what those who thought they were donating to PCMC would think when they learned the hats went to Utah Valley Hospital.

Back to the drawing board I went,..

Thoughts about what originally motivated me to knit preemie hats in the first place came flooding back as I remembered my daughter’s cousin who had recently gone through the sad experience of losing her baby after having to deliver too early. I called Utah Valley Hospital who happily said they would love the hats.

Learning experiences continue to find me, like it or not.

When I arrived at the hospital I inquired at the information desk where I could find volunteer services. I was given directions that sounded like a maze, but eventually found myself at the correct door.

“Hello”, I said to the young man inside. “I would like to donate these hand knit preemie and baby hats.”  He replied saying, “Oh, okay. Will you fill out this form?” He took the bag of hats and I was left alone at the counter filling out a donation slip.

Even though there was not a line for what I wrote next, very carefully I inscribed

 In honor of …and her baby girl… 

The young man returned without the bag and accepted the donation slip. He casually said “Thanks” and I turned around and walked out the door.

This is not my first rodeo with staff members doing their job who kindly but coldly, receive a heartfelt donation with the same emotion of that of a bank teller.

In the past I have been shocked and hurt with what appears to be a lack of gratitude. I especially feel this way when I’ve organized a large effort with a lot of participants. I think my mama bear gets activated in behalf of all of the beautiful people with warm hearts who have given of their time, talent and resources, as well as those who have put themselves in the shoes of others in need, and who have really wanted to make a difference. 

This time was different. The donation became more sacred to me in the absence of a big display of gratitude from the middleman. The middleman’s job is simply to do their part in passing the torch onto the recipients. It’s like a big relay race, a RAGNAR, an olympic torch; we all do our part.

As I walked down the hall I texted my daughter and told her I just donated 37 hats to Utah Valley Hospital in honor of her cousin and her baby.



…And that’s what it’s all about. Job well done everyone who had a part in making mamas happy.


Sending love your way,


P.S. We are having a lot of fun knitting women’s summer chemo hats for Huntsman Cancer Institute who (I have confirmed) do accept Chemo hats 🙂

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