The Michigan Mitten Project donates more than 500 mittens filled with comfort items to cancer patients each year.
This year Divine Child High School track crews donated several hours of time to help the program.
Leticia Horry, a volunteer coach in DC as well as a Michigan Mitten program board member, pitched the idea to coaches Andy Williams and Jim Shannon, who decided to have their teams help out.
On May 22, the teams, along with other volunteers, spent four hours cutting fabric to help make the mittens. Once sewn, the more than 550 mittens will be stuffed with care and comfort items, then distributed to cancer patients around Christmas.
Comfort items may include tissues, lip balm, hand sanitizer, dental care kit, and unscented lotion. Coloring books and colored pencils, puzzle books, playing cards, hot chocolate, candies, gum and chocolates are also added.
The project was born in 1995 after a young employee was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. She wanted to give back to others who were also going through chemotherapy treatment and so the Michigan Mitten Project was born. Today, that person now works as an oncology nurse at a local infusion center. It is her dedication that has led so many others to follow her lead in helping patients and staff.
Horry, who works for Michigan Medicine, said she has been volunteering with the program for five years.
“It’s great to see the smiles on the faces of the patients,” she says. “It’s a wonderful program.”
Student volunteers helped speed up the mitt-making process. In years past, a few volunteers would give up their lunch hours and cut off a few mittens each day. This year they were able to cut over 550 in a single day.
The Michigan Mitten Program is seeking donations to help fill the mittens later this year. Anyone wishing to donate can do so at bit.ly/3yTDEbr.