by Ingram Philips, president, Care Cap Connections™ www.carecaps.org
In 2006, when Care Caps started its cancer project, I can only recall one person whose vision for our reach was voiced. Bob Wilson, retired Conway educator, repeatedly said the charity would grow and grow. Actually, most folks could only see past the sewing needle, the final yard of fabric or the last dollar in the bank.
Now, on March 11, wife Mary, Meemaw Mary Powell, and our Board members join many volunteers in a sew-in celebration, having passed the 50,000th cap for women and girls in chemotherapy. Volunteers are coming from the local area—Fairfield Bay, Shirley, Clinton, Bee Branch, Damascus and around Van Buren County—from Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. Care Cap teams are at the Bay, Greenbrier, Jacksonville, Hot Springs, Hot Springs Village, Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Converse LA, San Antonio TX and spin-offs in Tennessee, Florida and Pennsylvania.
In the intervening years, literally thousands of people have helped in some way—directly sewing, cutting, pinning, ironing, packaging, setting up equipment, filling empty bobbins, and other tasks producing garments that look like bandanas—or indirectly by donating funds and fabrics, constructing boxes, counting, sealing, delivering, producing our web site and DVD, publishing notices, auditing the books, attending board meetings—and the list goes on. No one has ever been paid. Nothing has been sold. Over 26 miles of fabric have passed through the Philips’ garage and 50,000 completed caps ended up in the hands of our faithful UPS driver, loaded from the Fairfield Bay mall’s Care Cap/Constable office.
I, often, get asked if we are part of a national charity. “No, we are an INTERNATIONAL charity”, thanks to project partners around the globe and our online video and DVD. They sew to our pattern and distribute to cancer patients across America and in places far from our shores. Nationally, we have sent thousands of caps to M.D. Anderson, Mayo Clinic, St. Jude and 20 other cancer centers. UAMS and Vanderbilt—having received caps from us for years—eventually, sponsored our training and established sewing teams within their medical centers.
The March 11 festivities are open to all volunteers. We will be at the First Nazarene Church on Highway 65N in Greenbrier from 9-2. Lunch is provided by Stringbeanz. As usual, Mary has door prizes contributed by many business owners. Call her if you have questions: 253-1447. RSVPs would be a big help for food planning.
Mary and I wish we could list everyone who has had a hand in the project and the names of women and girls who let us know what a Care Cap means to them. Instead, we thank the Lord for our amazing experience and ask Him to bless you all.