ELIZABETH, NJ - Patients at the Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center in Elizabeth were presented with a gift of crotched hats/caps from the volunteer group Knit/Crochet With Love last week. 

It started in February, when a Physician at the center, Dr. Clarissa Henson received a letter from the organizations leader Richa Gupta suggesting a desire from her small legion of volunteers to help patients on their difficult journey with the gift of added comfort in the form of a personally knitted or crotched hat or cap. Henson knew this would be a perfect compliment for her patients at the Cancer Center.

Last week, a box of hand crafted caps was brought to Trinitas Cancer Center by Dr. Henson, who spent time with the group and learned of their mission and how to crochet as well. Dr. Henson was joined by Dr. Michele Cholankeril and social worker Roxanne Ruiz-Adams, on the infusion (chemotherapy) floor at Trinitas and distributed caps to grateful patients.

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“Its amazing how something so simple can be so heartfelt” remarked Henson. “The care and thought that goes into making these caps speaks volumes about the caring and decency of complete strangers making a difference in society today.”

According to Gupta, “in November a bunch of friends got together to form an informal group called 'Knit/Crochet with Love.”  The group meets once a week to make chemo caps for cancer patients and donates them to cancer centers across the country.

“We started off small but are growing with new members being added every week and we are accepting donations of yarn.  Thanks to all the donations and hard work of the members, we have already made over 300 caps and counting. We plan to make at least 500 before taking a break for summer.  We plan to resume the group meetings in September/October,” stated Gupta.

With over 60 ladies in 5 groups there are future plans to start another adult group for working women and summer classes for kids and teenagers. Mothers and mother-in laws like Laxmi Dontamsetti and Saroj Arora (Jolly) have joined in and are contributing at least one cap a day.

Caps are made of specific brand of yarn, washed and packed before they are mailed or hand delivered to an organization. So they have donated to Knots of Love CA, Sloans Kettering, Morristown hospital and Trinitas Cancer center in NJ.

While a few of the members are new to knitting/crocheting, others are picking up needles and hooks for the first time after grade school. “No matter what their skill level is, members are finding this activity both gratifying and relaxing. We will like to spread the benefits of knitting/crocheting to both the parties-those who are making and receiving the caps,” said Gupta

Both Dr. Henson and Cholankeril said they are thankful to the group for the kind gifts and personalized touch it brings into their lives. Henson stated, “Having spent time with these woman and watching their joy and commitment as they created caps to make others feel better was a rewarding and uplifting experience. Thank you to Richa and her group of amazing volunteers!” 

Anyone interested in joining the group or donating their time can contact Richa Gupta at prateesany@gmail.com.