First, I would like to thank the Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants Program for the support received in our communities in the Northern Heath Region.
I received a Neighbourhood Small Grant on June 11, 2020, and has received notice that the grant was approved a few days before, I started to sew head coverings right away. This allowed me to have a few styles pictured on my Neighbour to Neighbour Chemo Headgear Facebook page as soon as possible.
My goal was to sew 100 head coverings by November. As of today, I have produced 141 head coverings having sewn 25 in the last 15 days. To date 60 of those have been delivered to patients in the Northern Health Region of BC. I have tried to have a good selection of colours and styles available on the page.
Getting the word out to patients in Northern Health has been one of the more challenging aspects of the project. I have used my contacts at the Canadian Cancer Society and the BC Cancer Authority to get the word out to patients about our service and have received feedback from chemo nurses, the Regional Pharmacist, other employees in Northern Health and Doctor’s offices. It was recommended by the Grant committee that I use the internet to contact Doctors rather than by mail which has been a challenge because many do not list email addresses. I have posted regular updates to the Northern Health Social Media Pages which has a separate page for each community area in Northern Health and the Pacific Northwest Division of Family Practice. I also post to community pages such as Hell Yeah Prince George, Speak Out Mackenzie, and others. These efforts have shown good results. I have had requests for information from Chemo nurses, First Nations liaison workers and have also had feedback from patients who have received printouts about our service in their community oncology wards.
The funds I received from the grant have been used to purchase fabrics and notions to make the head coverings and to purchase mailers and postage to ship them to patients living in outlying communities. I was able to stretch the budget by shopping for fabrics during sale periods and shipping the head coverings in an inexpensive mailer which a Canada Post employee here in Prince George helped me find. I estimated mailing to cost $10-$15 per head covering but by using these mailers the cost of the mailers and postage was reduced to $5.50- $9.50. The cost savings allowed me to purchase more fabric, mailers and postage than originally estimated. I have also received donations of fabric, buttons and trim which is greatly appreciated. As of today, I have a supply of completed head coverings, fabric, cardboard mailers, and postage that will be used to send out head coverings for some time to come.
Originally, my intention was to help cancer patients through their hair loss period. However, I also received requests from women who have hair loss due to other issues and health concerns. There was more need than I anticipated.
This Project has been very, rewarding and has helped me deal with my own social distancing and self-isolating. I have created thirteen distinct and different styles of head coverings which are all pictured on the Facebook page. I am grateful for the opportunity to supply head coverings to chemo patients through the support I received from The Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants Program.
It is my hope that ladies who received and wear the head coverings will, in time, pass them on to friends and family who need them during their treatments.
Information about my project can be found at: