Members of Assistance League of Northern Virginia hosted a reception for the residents of Dunbarton, in Bristow, Va., to thank them for our long-standing partnership. For many years, the skilled craftspeople who are part of the Dunbarton Hugs Team have provided us with gorgeous Hugs pillows that we donated to a local clinic to comfort pediatric patients. The pillows are made in adorable kid-friendly patterns that are simply irresistible. When the clinic couldn’t accept the pillows because of pandemic restrictions, we donated them to elementary schools for their youngest students. More recently, the wonderfully talented Dunbarton Hugs Team has also been busy creating baby hats and blanket sets and quilts, as well as child-sized hats, scarves, and headbands that they have graciously donated to our chapter.
Everyone at the reception enjoyed a wonderful variety of good food and drink, and then the Dunbarton attendees described the roles they each play in creating the pillows. Some cut the colorful fabrics into the distinctive heart shape, others sew the pieces, and still others stuff each pillow with polyester fiber to create the comforting soft cushion. It truly takes a village, and we are extremely grateful to the Dunbarton Hugs Team “Village” for the privilege of distributing their handiwork to appreciative students, new mothers, and their families.
Our members expressed deep gratitude for the Dunbarton Hugs Team’s wonderful creations and their generosity, and provided anecdotes to demonstrate just how important and essential their items have been and will be for the students and families who receive them. One member noted, for example, that students at several schools had emigrated from warm climates and aren’t used to the cold winters here. The hand-made hats and scarves are especially appreciated, not only for the warmth they provide, but also because students like being able to choose their own items, knowing that each one is unique.
In addition to deepening our friendship with our Dunbarton partners at this event, Assistance League gratefully accepted the latest inventory of their creations, which totaled more than 550 items!! We received more than 230 Hugs pillows and nearly 240 hats, as well as scarves, scarf/hat sets, and headbands for students; and blankets, hats, sweaters, quilts, and ponchos for babies. We hope we can continue this partnership for decades, and we convey the deep appreciation of all who receive these unique items.