It’s the last week for my writing break. Well, it’s actually a “publishing” break. I have been inspired during this break and anxious to share with you soon.
The final ministry I am sharing is a special one. Just because I’m sharing it last, it is not the least. Trust me! You will want to check out this ministry. Again, it involves another person who saw a need and simply said, “Yes!”
When I first heard about 818 Ministries, I’m not sure it was even up and running yet. A darling young woman sat down next to me at a conference with 800 women in attendance. Every conversation started that weekend with, “What do you do? Are you a writer or a speaker?”
The girl sitting next to me, Rebecca Dotson, told me she was starting a ministry to donate handmade hats and handwritten encouraging notes to patients fighting serious illnesses. The desire to start her ministry came after a conversation she had with her mother when she was going through chemotherapy after a breast cancer diagnosis. Her mother told her about a lady she met during chemotherapy who was sick and alone. She had lost her hair and Rebecca’s mother was concerned she wasn’t wearing a hat. So many women going through chemo have cute, comfy hats someone gave them.
Rebecca wanted to offer encouragement and to share about her savior, Jesus, with those sick and often alone. The ministries name – 818 Ministries – came from the scripture Rebecca sent to her mom on her first day of chemotherapy. For I consider the present sufferings of this life are not worthy to compare to the glory that shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
818 Ministries has an Impact Squad that travels the country and creatively connects with patients in hospitals and delivers hat packets. When the Impact Squad visits children’s hospitals, they dress up like Belle, Elsa, Cinderella, other fun characters and superheroes. 818 Ministries loves to partner with well-known people in the city to deliver the packets.
Since Rebecca said, “Yes” in 2014 to offering comfort and hope to people facing illness, the Impact Squad has delivered 2,321 hope-filled hat and letter packets.
There are lots of ways to help out and get involved. You can crochet or knit a hat, donate your unused yarn or hooks/needles, sew a pillow or drain apron for those that have had a mastectomy. 818 Ministries also accepts preemie sized octopuses that the baby snuggles and it reminds them of the umbilical cord and port pillows that make riding in a car more comfortable for a cancer patient that has a port. The website has guidelines and patterns you can check out here.
I love a story Rebecca shared with me because it epitomizes the reason Rebecca and the team do what they do. The last time Rebecca visited St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital she shared, “I had a parent approach me while her child was in the floor playing with my volunteer dressed up as Elsa. She said her child had left chemotherapy really upset that morning and had a really tough week. She said she hadn’t seen her daughter smile in weeks. She was laughing and playing in the floor with Elsa, wearing her Frozen-themed hat crocheted by a volunteer. Creating those moments for families is what I was created for.”
Please visit the 818 Ministries website here.
Maybe you can say “Yes!” and help supply hats or pillows – or start and lead an Impact Club.