FLORENCE (WBTW) – Snowbirds made a day trip from the coast to McLeod Children's Hospital on Wednesday morning, as part of what's now a tradition of giving and caring.
The dozens of visitors from the north–Ohio, Pennsylvania, New England Canada, etc.–stay the winters at Sandy Beach Resort in Myrtle Beach. Once a week, the ladies gather to sew, knit, and create gifts of blankets and even clothing for the babies at the hospital.
“It's things we like to do anyway,” said Marion Purves, who lives in Ontario, Canada. “Our own grandchildren are past the age that we can knit for them or sew for them or give them toys, so it's nice to have this new outlet for those skills.”
The caravan of cars pulled up to the back door at the McLeod Pavilion as snowbirds–husbands and wives–unloaded bag after bag full of goodies the group had made. This was the group's second delivery in recent months. Hospital staff then divided up some of the gifts so snowbirds could deliver them to patient rooms.
“To see the children and their bravery–it just makes you feel so good to see how they react to the gifts that are brought, and to the illness itself,” said Purves.
Along with the blankets the ladies sewed was a quilt that Aurele Girouard of Hamilton, Ontario spent nearly 50 hours making, in a technique called Swedish weaving.
“Oh, it's an amazing cause,” said Girouard. “I have two daughters that are nurses. To us, it's very important. When I saw all of these ladies working, I said, 'Hey, I got to get involved!'”
Fellow snowbirds also donated handmade quilts for raffle, and the group used the proceeds to fund its efforts with supplies to make the blankets.