February 03, 2020
KISSIMMEE, Fla. — A hospital is probably the last place you want to visit, but for 72-year-old Helen McKnight, Osceola Regional Medical Center is like a second home. Helen McKnight volunteers at Osceola Regional Medical Center She makes capes, dolls, pillow cases for young patients McKnight says she doesn't plan to slow down any time soon She dedicates time to the hospital’s gift shop, a volunteer-run store, in which profits go to charities and scholarships.
But that’s not all she does: McKnight also makes capes, pillow cases, and dolls for the children in pediatrics and the emergency room. “The face is ironed on vinyl so the babies can't get anything on their mouth,” McKnight said while holding one of her creations. It takes McKnight about an hour to get each item completed. She’s even had to take classes to learn how to make some of the gifts. McKnight said she is in it for the faces that light up on the receiving end.
"I love making stuff for the children,” she said. McKnight is appreciated at the hospital by those who see her healing powers. “When the kids get here, they are normally kind of scared, and they’re anxious, and this kind of helps provide a little bit of a distraction for them,” said Danielle Worden, a Child Life Specialist at the hospital. “That kind of helps them calm down a little bit. It kind of helps them feel like they’re more at home vs. being here in the hospital.”
McKnight may be working more now than before she retired, but she loves every minute of it. “My father always said if you want to live long and stay healthy, stay busy. The minute you stop, you stop,” she said.
McKnight has made more than 1,000 items and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon. “I hope they can look back on it in a couple of years and remember the good part, the happiness of receiving something nice, that they could pick out themselves that they like,” McKnight said. “(I want them to) just remember that instead of what brought them there in the first place.” If you would like to donate fabric for Mcknight, email ORMCGiftShop@gmail.com.
To read the full article go to Spectrum News 13