02 Sep

What brings us comfort in difficult times?  

A hug.  The voice of a loved one.  A chocolate chip cookie.  A warm bath.  Beautiful music.  There are so many things that can help us and give us ease. 

For many folks, young and not so young, the feeling of a soft blanket around our shoulders can be one source of comfort.  We know this is so for the littlest babies, and often as children, we have grungy, tattered blankets that have given so much comfort, they are literally falling to pieces. 

Here at the hospital, patients and families find themselves in unexpected situations with uncertainty and discomfort.  They are in an unfamiliar space and out of routine.  

What a lovely thing, then, to receive a prayer shawl or prayer blanket.  They are made in all colors and patterns and given at various times—at end of life, to a child on one of the pediatric units, to someone struggling with anxiety or depression, to a pregnant mother waiting as her child receives care in the NICU. 

These blankets are made by all kinds of volunteers—a prayer shawl ministry, groups from assorted faith communities, and from knitting and quilting groups all over Iowa.  They are brought to our UIHC Spiritual Services office where we tie them with a ribbon and attach small cards that contain a blessing.  They are made with love and prayer, with the special hope that they will indeed bring comfort to the receiver.  

We often hear from former patients or their families that the shawls provide warmth and a feeling of such care—that they help people feel less alone.  People say they feel a sense of protection and safety.  

We’re grateful for the prayer and love that goes into the making of these soft and lovely prayer shawls. We are glad to be able to offer these special blankets that can literally wrap people in warmth and comfort.

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