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‘Shawls of Support’ Helps Hundreds of Donor Families in First Year

September marks the one-year anniversary of the Shawls of Support program, providing a handmade shawl to every donor family whose loved one gave the Gift of Life through donation.

The ladies of Yarn Club are busy making shawls to give to donor families.

The ladies of Yarn Club are busy making shawls to give to donor families.

Created and donated by recipients, volunteers and donor family members themselves, each shawl is unique and intended to provide a level of comfort to grieving families.

Margaret Petrosky, a kidney recipient, and her sister Kathy David have been instrumental in the success of the program.  Both women see creating shawls as a way to honor their organ donors.

“With each stitch, we understand that a donor’s family member will receive our gift,” Kathy said. “We make the shawls hoping they will bring a small sense of comfort to the one who receives it.”

Lifeline of Ohio has received 725 crocheted and knitted shawls and distributed 370 since the program’s inception last September. The shawl is provided to the donor family by Lifeline of Ohio staff when they meet in person at the hospital to discuss their loved one’s donation, or mailed to the family’s home if there is no hospital meeting.

“Over the last year, our family has made 319 shawls alone to help support donor families,” Margaret said. “We have found much enjoyment in taking a few skeens of yarn and seeing what we can create. A couple of us have even had more than one shawl going at a time just because we can’t wait to see how the next one is going to come together.”

If you would like to join the Shawls of Support program, please contact Jenny Hoover, bereavement services coordinator, at



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