120 prayer shawls dedicated


Yadkin Valley Senior Center volunteers donate more than 120 prayer shawls to Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care

By Wendy Byerly Wood - [email protected]



Area ministers, from left, Don Hudson, Johnny Enloe, Danny Dodds and Greg Anderson, Wednesday bless the more than 120 prayer shawls which were made by volunteers at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center for use by Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care for its patients and families.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Sharon Stonestreet, front, and Maria Hicks knit shawls for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care prayer shawl program Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Marty Cavanaugh works the needles as she makes a shawl for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care prayer shawl program Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Alma Pardue knits a shawl Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center. The shawl will be used for the prayer shawl ministry of Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Prayers are offered blessing more than 120 shawls made by volunteers at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care prayer shawl ministry.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Prayers are offered blessing more than 120 shawls made by volunteers at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care prayer shawl ministry.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Becky Wing, left, and Catherine Transou knit shawls for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care’s prayer shawl program Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Kay Martin Enloe, left, and Maria Hicks work the needles to create shawls for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care’s prayer shawl program Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Brenda Brindle makes a shawl for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care’s prayer shawl program Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Greg Anderson, chaplain with the Elkin office of Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care, shows off one of the red, white and blue shawls which are given to veterans through the prayer shawl ministry.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Each shawl provided through the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care’s prayer shawl program has a tag sharing with those who receive it whose hands made it.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

More than 120 shawls were blessed Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center and now are ready to be provide to those needing comfort through the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care’s prayer shawl ministry.


Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

JONESVILLE — In bright, vibrant colors of purple, blue, pink, green, tan, yellow and more, a long line of tables at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center were filled with more than 120 handmade prayer shawls Wednesday afternoon waiting to be blessed and given out as part of Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care’s prayer shawl ministry.

About 15 to 20 volunteers gather for three hours each Wednesday at the senior center to enjoy conversation and spend their time knitting and crocheting the shawls, each of which are tagged to share with the patient or recipient whose hands made them.

“Most of these ladies volunteer under the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and Mountain Valley Hospice,” said Gilda Pruitt, RSVP coordinator for the Yadkin Valley Senior Center. “When I go out and promote our programs, I ask if they crochet or knit, and that’s how some of them have found us.”

Up until this month, Greg Anderson, chaplain with the Elkin office of Mountain Valley Hospice, has been visiting the senior center about once a quarter to pray over the shawls and collect them for distribution, but with the help of other area ministers, prayer shawl dedications are going to be held once a month going forward.

The prayer shawl knitting group has been meeting at the senior center since 2009, starting with five people. “We have some volunteers who bring in three to four at a time they’ve done in a week’s time while they sit at home and watch TV,” said Pruitt.

As Wednesday’s short program of blessing began, new center director, Jane Surratt, said, “We have a wonderful prayer shawl group. You can tell they’ve been busy.”

The prayer shawl program has touched many people, she explained, adding she is very familiar with the program since she formerly worked for hospice as a volunteer coordinator.

This new monthly blessing will include bringing in local ministers to help with the ministry. Wednesday, in addition to Anderson, other ministers offering prayers over the shawls were Johnny Enloe, association missionary with the Elkin Baptist Association; Danny Dodds of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church; and Don Hudson with Fall Creek Baptist Church.

“All these shawls go to hospice patients in the area,” said Surratt. “They mean so much to the patients and their families. On my father’s one-year anniversary of his death, I wrapped up in his prayer shawl, because his spirit went out through that shawl. I could feel him in that shawl. They really do give comfort.”

Sharon Ratcliffe, who recently retired as Elkin hospice’s volunteer coordinator, said the five ladies who were in the initial knitting group “knew nothing about what a prayer shawl meant.”

But in its seven year history, the group has made close to 3,000 prayer shawls. “Their first year goal was 1,000, and they made that goal, and they raised their own money other than the little bit they get once or twice a year from hospice to help,” said Ratcliffe. “This is one of the best ministries Mountain Valley Hospice has, because the family has something when the patient is gone.

“The family knows the person making them didn’t know who they were, but that they love them and pray for them,” she said.

Prayer shawls also are shared with others in the community who may be in need of comforting and prayer. They are available at the hospice office or the senior center.

“When there are fatal accidents in the community, hospice makes sure the families have a prayer shawl,” added Ratcliffe of the other ways the shawls are used.

Anderson said, prior to the blessing, his grandmother was part of the senior center’s knitting group before he was ever involved with hospice. She would make bedspreads out of tobacco twine. It took 150 pieces of twine to make one bedspread.

“They are a source of comfort. I also look at them as an icebreaker,” Anderson told the ladies who took a break from their knitting for the blessing. “A lot of time families are overwhelmed with bad news, and it is a great source of comfort.”

On Wednesday, Anderson had already given one to a 2-year-old. “He took that prayer shawl and put it on the floor to watch TV and has it to cuddle with at night,” he said. “When we put a prayer shawl on those who receive them, the bright colors just make their day.”

Shawls from the senior center are used for hospice’s Elkin and Yadkinville offices as well as the Woltz Hospice Home in Dobson, and will be used at the new SECU Hospice Home when it opens next year in Yadkinville.

Stories were told about patients who asked for their shawls to drape their coffins, and one who was laid to rest with her shawl, because they mean so much to them.

It takes about $1,500 to $2,000 for supplies to make the shawls throughout the year. Donations of yarn or funding can be made at the senior center or the Elkin office of Mountain Valley Hospice.

Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.

Area ministers, from left, Don Hudson, Johnny Enloe, Danny Dodds and Greg Anderson, Wednesday bless the more than 120 prayer shawls which were made by volunteers at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center for use by Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care for its patients and families.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_prayer-shawl-1.jpgArea ministers, from left, Don Hudson, Johnny Enloe, Danny Dodds and Greg Anderson, Wednesday bless the more than 120 prayer shawls which were made by volunteers at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center for use by Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care for its patients and families. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Sharon Stonestreet, front, and Maria Hicks knit shawls for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care prayer shawl program Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_prayer-shawl-2.jpgSharon Stonestreet, front, and Maria Hicks knit shawls for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care prayer shawl program Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Marty Cavanaugh works the needles as she makes a shawl for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care prayer shawl program Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_prayer-shawl-3.jpgMarty Cavanaugh works the needles as she makes a shawl for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care prayer shawl program Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Alma Pardue knits a shawl Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center. The shawl will be used for the prayer shawl ministry of Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_prayer-shawl-4.jpgAlma Pardue knits a shawl Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center. The shawl will be used for the prayer shawl ministry of Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Prayers are offered blessing more than 120 shawls made by volunteers at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care prayer shawl ministry.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_prayer-shawl-5.jpgPrayers are offered blessing more than 120 shawls made by volunteers at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care prayer shawl ministry. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Prayers are offered blessing more than 120 shawls made by volunteers at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care prayer shawl ministry.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_prayer-shawl-6.jpgPrayers are offered blessing more than 120 shawls made by volunteers at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care prayer shawl ministry. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Becky Wing, left, and Catherine Transou knit shawls for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care’s prayer shawl program Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_prayer-shawl-7.jpgBecky Wing, left, and Catherine Transou knit shawls for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care’s prayer shawl program Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Kay Martin Enloe, left, and Maria Hicks work the needles to create shawls for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care’s prayer shawl program Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_prayer-shawl-8.jpgKay Martin Enloe, left, and Maria Hicks work the needles to create shawls for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care’s prayer shawl program Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Brenda Brindle makes a shawl for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care’s prayer shawl program Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_prayer-shawl-9.jpgBrenda Brindle makes a shawl for the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care’s prayer shawl program Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Greg Anderson, chaplain with the Elkin office of Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care, shows off one of the red, white and blue shawls which are given to veterans through the prayer shawl ministry.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_prayer-shawl-10.jpgGreg Anderson, chaplain with the Elkin office of Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care, shows off one of the red, white and blue shawls which are given to veterans through the prayer shawl ministry. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

Each shawl provided through the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care’s prayer shawl program has a tag sharing with those who receive it whose hands made it.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_prayer-shawl-11.jpgEach shawl provided through the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care’s prayer shawl program has a tag sharing with those who receive it whose hands made it. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune

More than 120 shawls were blessed Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center and now are ready to be provide to those needing comfort through the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care’s prayer shawl ministry.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_prayer-shawl-12.jpgMore than 120 shawls were blessed Wednesday at the Yadkin Valley Senior Center and now are ready to be provide to those needing comfort through the Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care’s prayer shawl ministry. Wendy Byerly Wood | The Tribune
Yadkin Valley Senior Center volunteers donate more than 120 prayer shawls to Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care

By Wendy Byerly Wood

[email protected]

Elkin Tribune
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