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By Edwina Dueñas | November 2020
Which words would you use to describe volunteering? In this series, we’re asking the nonprofit organizations our Oracle Volunteers support to summarize what our contributions mean to them.
On a cold winter day, an able person who feels a chill can casually grab a pair of gloves, a scarf, or a sweater to warm up. But for the 200 patients with severe cerebral palsy at Hospital Cruz Verde in São Paulo, Brazil, staying warm isn’t so easy.
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affects a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture, causing involuntary movements and tremors with varying degrees of impairment. Daily tasks, such as washing hands and getting dressed, can be a challenge and often call for assistance from a caregiver. Patients often require adaptive clothing and individualized accessories that must be both functional and comfortable.
Oracle Volunteer Mariana Lima, is an experienced crocheter who organized 50 of her coworkers—some of whom had never picked up a crochet hook—to crochet custom cowls for Hospital Cruz Verde patients as well as their caregivers and families. The Oracle Volunteers crocheted together in the evenings, sharing their colorful creations virtually, over Zoom.
One winter afternoon, the hospital received a special care package: 325 crocheted cowls that would provide much-needed warmth and comfort. Crafted by hand, the fine-wool cowls are lightweight and soft to the touch. Cowls conveniently slip over the head and snuggle around the neck, making it easy for caregivers to quickly put them on their patients. Unlike scarves, cowls stay put—even if patients experience tremors or involuntary movements.
“Cozywarm is the word I would use to describe how our patients feel with cowls around their necks. These Oracle Volunteers gave their hearts to others. Most importantly, they took the time to truly understand our patients’ needs, and what would make a difference in their daily lives.”
Fernanda Zylberstajn of the nonprofit Tempo de Brincar helped coordinate the delivery of the cowls. “Cozywarm is the word I would use to describe how our patients feel with cowls around their necks,” she says. “These Oracle Volunteers gave their hearts to others. Most importantly, they took the time to truly understand our patients’ needs, and what would make a difference in their daily lives.”
Mariana and her team of Oracle Volunteers hope to continue working with Hospital Cruz Verde. The hospital is just one of hundreds of nonprofit organizations Oracle Volunteers support year-round to strengthen their communities, advance education, and protect the environment.