American Needlepoint Guild Makes a Heartfelt Gift

 In General

After Pat Dalton’s husband, Kenneth, died at The Denver Hospice in 2014, she wanted some way to give back. “Everybody was so kind and compassionate,” she said. It wasn’t until five years later that she found a way to pay it forward instead.

Pat rallied members of the Mile High Chapter of the American Needlepoint Guild to make handmade hearts for future Denver Hospice patients. The project started with the Greater Kansas City Needlepoint Guild in 2015. The Mile High chapter started making their hearts in fall 2019, and members created more than 100 in the year that followed. Chapter president Mindy Slater said Pat created more than half of them herself, and more are in the works. 

“I have a personal motivation,” Pat said. “I think it would have been meaningful to me. I would have appreciated getting a heart, and I think other people will too.”

The hearts are intended to serve as “Do Not Disturb” signs that give family members added privacy in the time surrounding a patient’s death. They also serve as a memento that the patient’s family can take home. 

Each heart takes roughly 20 hours of work before being sent to a finisher who stuffs and sews them together. Mindy said each heart is a donation of time and energy — from the finisher as well as the needlepoint artist. Each comes with a tag with the message: “Our hearts are with you and your family during this journey.” 

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