In Stitches: Shawls bring comfort to organ donor families

MY CENTRAL JERSEY | Pamela MacKenzie

On the second Thursday of each month, knitters and crocheters meet from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Sharing Network's headquarters in New Providence to work on comfort shawls.(Photo: ~Courtesy of the Sharing Network)
The Interfaith Stitchers 4 Peace gathered on Nov. 13 to collect and continue making winter accessories for charity. They met at Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, NJ.

When I was visiting the Interfaith Stitches during the group's first meeting, I met a woman who told me about The Sharing Network in New Providence, a federally designated organ-procurement organization here in New Jersey.

The Sharing Network evaluates potential organ donations and matches these organs to the 5,000 or so people on the waiting list here in New Jersey to receive them. In addition, the Sharing Network provides support services to the families of those organ donors, and the agency has a comfort shawl program to give these families a tangible expression of love.

Not long after that first encounter with the Sharing Network, I heard from a publicist about a young man who had received a transplanted heart who would be speaking to that organization. That contact became the basis of my story in today's paper about organ transplants. But right after that, I got more information about the comfort shawl program. It was only at that point that I put two-and-two together and realized that the comfort shawls and the organ procurements were done by the same agency. Continue reading
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