I Met An Unmasked Superhero While Knitting, Actually 2

When the Minnesota Knitting Guild put out a call for volunteers to teach knitting, I heard the call! If someone wants to learn to knit, they should be taught. I immediately clicked on the link. And soon after that click, I was connected with Maria, Dorree, and Sydney at the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Gillette Children’s Hospital. As described on their website, Gillette specializes in treating children who have complex conditions, rare disorders and traumatic injuries.

Within Gillette is the Ronald McDonald Family Room. It is a fantastic resource for families caring for their children when far from home. A few of their services are guest rooms with a private bathroom, home-cooked dinners every night, a help yourself pantry, and laundry facilities.

Ronald McDonald Family Room – Gillette, St. Paul living room

Twice a month I volunteer to teach knitting to anyone who is interested in learning during their stay at Gillette. We knit right there on the couch you see above. Sometimes I teach siblings of a patient, sometimes a patient, and sometimes a parent of a patient. The experience levels go from “never touched a knitting needle”, to “I just need a refresher please.” This week I taught Aubrey and Rick how to knit. And, as is usually the case, as we started knitting we started talking.

Aubrey and Rick have 2 adorable sons who have needed a lot of medical care, sometimes far from home. And sometimes they arrive for medical services and then the stay that was to be one week turns into three weeks. Which can really throw a schedule!

As Aubrey said, so many people want to help. They say, “what can we do?” And really when your friend is 100’s of miles away from you it is difficult to make them dinner or offer to watch their children for a few hours so they can get a break. And as the parent in a new city with a child who needs a lot of your attention, would you ask your friend to call a restaurant and have some substantial food sent in? Or ask them to send some shampoo and toothpaste because you only packed enough for one week, and now it is one month?

Out of compassion and self knowledge for a way to answer the very caring and sincere, “what can I do to help?” question, Rick and Aubrey set up a non-profit called Unmasked. The byline is Revealing The Superhero in All of Us.

Unmasked was established to help families who have experienced any or all of our families journey. Rick and Aubrey are here to mentor, be a listening ear, and help supply families with support and materials that are needed while in patient.

This is a fantastic idea. If you ever find yourself wanting to help a family you know, or someone you have never met, click here. If you are wanting the items to go to a specific family, there is a place for special instructions on the donate page.

Thank you Rick and Aubrey for sharing your beautiful story. And keep knitting! You are both off to an amazing start!


And, if you are in a group that likes to cook, connect with Dorree     (dadelmann@rmhtwincities.org) and volunteer to make dinner sometime.



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