ERA BOYLE HAS A MISSION. She wants to make sure
that every newborn baby at CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth Hospital has a
nice warm cap. So in the last five years, the 91-year-old has knitted
over 1,000 caps and donated them to the nursery and neonatal ICU
at the hospital. Each cap is five inches around and five inches
high, with a pom-pom the size of a gumball on top. Her hat making
is not an expensive undertaking, as she can make 15 from a $3 ball
of yarn. She can produce three hats a day, well below the demand
at the hospital.
But what began for Vera as a labor of love for bald-headed babies
became her biggest worry. “What are my poor babies going to wear
when I can’t make hats anymore?”
She tried to recruit friends from church, family members and acquaintances
from the hospital, but no one seemed interested in taking up her
dilemma was brought to the attention of administrators at the hospital
who came to her rescue. They asked their director of Marketing and
Public Relations to publicize Vera’s plight. The local newspaper
ran a feature article, complete with Vera’s picture. And the phone
began to ring.
Dozens of people called, each eager to learn to knit newborn baby
caps. Now, Vera doesn’t knit alone. In her home, she teaches
willing students, ranging in age from nine to 91, to knit each day.
She shares her cap pattern and provides knitting needles for those
who want to work at home. She is happy knowing that ‘her babies’
will have warm heads for years to come.
This could have been the whole story. Lady knits caps. Lady fears
she won’t have a successor. Lady gets publicity. Lady teaches others
to knit. Newborns will continue to receive caps.
But, the real ‘miracle’ is in the story of those who
have found joy by knitting for Vera and the babiesa severely
depressed woman with no purpose in life, a widow who stays at home
to care for her bedridden mother, four home-schooled sisters. The
list goes on and on. Each has found inner comfort and strength in
their newfound mission.
When she sought out others to help knit caps for newborns, Vera
thought only of helping the infants. Little did she know her quiet
endeavor would become a miracle in the lives of those who joined
her. They knit for the babies. In return, their hearts are filled
with the warmth that comes from loving, caring and giving.
CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth Hospital