Local woman donates hats to cancer patients in memory of late daughter
In the past two years, Dorothy Ritchie has crocheted more than 600 hats.
"I've donated most of them to doctors offices and hospitals," she said. "I pick yarn that's really soft and comfortable."
Every Christmas, Ritchie walks through the halls of the Sentara Center in Harrisonburg and delivers the hats to cancer patients.
For her, though, delivering these hats is more than just a good deed. It's a way for her to honor the life of her daughter, Florie, who lost her battle with stomach cancer in 2018.
"By making these hats, I keep her legacy alive. She was beautiful," she said.
While Florie was going through treatment, she gave her mother the idea of using the gift of crocheting as a way to bless others. Ritchie said Florie passed the hats around and wanted to share them with not only patients, but doctors and nurses, too.
Ritchie said living without her daughter has left an empty spot, but donating these hats keeps her going.
"It helps the pain when you do for others," she said. "It's such a little thing you can do just to cheer somebody up, and see a smile on their face."