posted on February 24th 2017 in Blog /

Sharron Clearwater of Indianapolis knew she wanted to find an opportunity to volunteer in the community. That’s why she reached for the phone in December 2013 when she saw Indiana Donor Network featured on a local television station. The news story was promoting Indiana Donor Network’s Threads of Compassion program, which provides comfort shawls to donor families at the time of their loved one’s organ, tissue or eye donation.

Sharron doesn’t have a connection to donation but she does recall being drawn to the program and loved the idea that she could create beautiful comfort shawls that families can use while they are in the hospital and take home with them afterward as loving commemorations. The hope is that the shawls will bring families comfort in their time of sorrow and transition.

“It’s my way of giving the families a hug even though I can’t actually be there,” Sharron says. “It really is the least I can do for them.”

Three years later, Sharron has become one of the most dedicated volunteers Indiana Donor Network has ever seen. She and her husband, Ed, stop in the Indianapolis office of Indiana Donor Network every 3-4 weeks to gather yarn. Not only has she handcrafted an astounding number of 600 comfort shawls since that television news story, Sharron also volunteers her time to package the shawls and has begun teaching crochet classes at Indiana Donor Network.

“Sharron creates warmth and comfort for donor families who are going through the most difficult times in their lives,” says Courtney Tillotta, manager of the aftercare support team at Indiana Donor Network. “Her selfless commitment and unwavering dedication to the program is truly remarkable.”

When Sharron is out in the community, she keeps the program and donor families top of mind. “When I am out shopping and I see someone with yarn in their shopping cart, I jump at the opportunity to tell them about this program and how they can give back,” she says.

To learn more about the Threads of Compassion program, to make shawls or to donate materials, click here.

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