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Finding New Purpose and Meaning As a Volunteer

Anita Krull is crocheting her fourteenth afghan for a hospice patient. Her goal is to create 25 afghans.

Anita tries to crochet every day for an hour or so. It takes about 30 hours, she says, to complete one afghan. Anita began her afghan project after her husband was the beneficiary of an afghan when he was a hospice patient. “He received an afghan that someone had made and it was so meaningful to us,” Anita explains. “It meant so much to the entire family. We all took turns sleeping with it after he passed. I determined this is what I could do – crochet afghans to comfort families.” That began Anita’s volunteer service to Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. “It’s given my life purpose,” Anita says. “I was at such a loss when I lost my husband.”

But Anita didn’t stop with crocheting.

Next, she volunteered to share music with patients and families every week.

On Thursdays she spends two hours playing her autoharp or guitar for hospice patients and families. “I try to play requests,” Anita laughs. “Sometimes I know them, sometimes I don’t.” Either way, she finds her music enables her to quickly bond with the patients and families she meets. “I’ve met lots of nice people,” Anita says. “I love the feeling of making a connection before they pass.”

Usually, she donates her afghans and never meets the recipient. But twice she spotted one of her afghans on the bed when she visited patients to play music. “It was humbling to know who received it,” Anita confesses. “I hope my afghans can touch and comfort another family the way the one we received did.”

In November, it will be wo years since her husband died following three years of serious illness and multiplying infections. He was 65. Anita is now 67 and retired, and finds her volunteer work for hospice has given her purpose and meaning. “As much as I am a blessing to patients and families, they are a blessing to me,” Anita observes. “I crochet every day, eagerly and with purpose.” Anita says once she reaches her goal of 25 afghans, she will then have a decision to make.

“Who knows – maybe I’ll decide to create 25 more.”

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