If you are already making chemo port pillows for family and friends, why not make additional pillows to donate to organizations in need?
What Is A Port Pillow?
A refresher: a chemo port pillow is a small pillow (approximately 3″ x 6″) with a hook-and-loop closure that a person uses to cover their port when using a seatbelt (as pictured above) or even a purse or bag strap. This little pillow helps prevent irritation of the port and surrounding area when something is on top of it for long periods of time.
A chemo port pillow is a simple item that can bring considerable comfort to a person whose chemotherapy involves a port.
Where Should I Donate Port Pillows?
When I first started making port pillows a couple of years ago, I thought it would be easy to find organizations that would accept them. I had heard and seen so many stories about people donating them in batches to their local hospitals and cancer centers.
Plus, the feedback about these pillows from chemo patients was so positive! I was really excited to tackle my fabric scrap pile and get to work.
I didn’t immediately try to locate places that would accept the port pillows because I figured it would easy and straightforward. After all, the Bay Area is known for its world-class hospitals and cancer centers.
When I started contacting places, however, I found a very different reality. What I found was, well, a lot of bureaucratic red tape. I spent more time trying to locate the right person who may or may not actually want the port pillows than I did delivering and donating them.
Truth be told? I was so frustrated with the experience that I moved on to something else. I started making other handmade items like toiletry bags and flannel hearts for organizations that had a process in place (and a contact person!) to accept my donations.
Fast forward to January 2019 and World Cancer Day was on the horizon. The chemo port pillow tutorial on Create To Donate continues to be the most popular post on the site.
So to honor World Cancer day, I created another port pillow tutorial. This time, I demonstrated how someone might add essential oils to a port pillow (pictured above) if aromatherapy is being used as a complementary treatment.
And in creating this tutorial, I found a renewed sense of wanting to donate port pillows to local organizations. So I started looking for new options and this time, I hit the jackpot!
I therefore have three great cancer support organizations to introduce to you that are currently accepting chemo port pillow donations. Two of the organizations are in the United States and the third is located in Canada.
3 Places To Donate Port Pillows
Bay Area Cancer Connections started in 1993 and supports women battling breast and ovarian cancers. This organization offers, “a range of services including support groups, counseling, a wig and bra boutique, wellness classes, expansive medical research services, a Resource Center” and more.
Bay Area Cancer Connections values all the hard work volunteers contribute to their needs. So please make sure to contact them to let them know you want to donate port pillows and complete a volunteer application. Tell them Create To Donate sent you!
Cancer CAREpoint “provides personalized Counseling, Assistance, Resources & Education to all Silicon Valley cancer patients, survivors, families & caregivers.”
They offer a variety of ways to get involved and often use port pillows as part of their “ChemoCare” bags. This is another place that is familiar with Create To Donate and would love to know about the referral.
The Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation is, “100% Newfoundland and Labrador – representing [their] families, [their] friends and [their] neighbors who face cancer. [They] are the official fundraiser for all Cancer Centres in the province.”
You can easily contact them to find out how and where to donate port pillows on their active and responsive Facebook page.
Port Pillow Donations Make A Difference
What appears to be just a small pillow to most people makes a world of difference for someone who has a port.
So if you’re looking for a simple sewing project that only requires a couple of hours of your time, why not try your hand at making port pillows?
Share The Goods
Is there a cancer support organization in need of port pillows that I should add to the list? Please leave a comment below with a link to the site so that I can send people their way!