As part of the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, American Legion Auxiliary members are known for their selfless service and good deeds done for our nation’s veterans, military, and their families. At the same time, ALA members volunteer their time and talents to make a positive difference in the lives of others in their communities.
With their crocheted infant blankets and matching hats, ALA members Paula Karr, Maxine Heyman, and Megan Magoon of Unit 260 in Attica, Ohio, have been offering comfort to parents whose babies are born early or stillborn.
Through the trio’s ongoing project Labor of Love, Karr and Heyman do the crocheting, and Magoon – Karr’s daughter who lives in Boston – delivers the blankets and hats once a year to ACDK Hope Foundation, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Brigham and Women's Boston Medical Center – all in Massachusetts.
Labor of Love was started by Magoon in 2016, after her first son Gregory was stillborn. Magoon said it meant so much to her that Gregory was wrapped in a handmade blanket with a matching handmade hat and sweater when hospital staff brought Gregory to her and her husband Dan. The blanket, hat, and sweater were donated to that hospital by someone the Magoon Family doesn’t know.
“That blanket holds his scent, his short lifetime of memories, his proof of existence to the world,” Magoon explained, adding that she wanted to offer that sort of comfort to others while honoring Gregory’s memory. “I feel like this act of kindness is just something natural, something that should be done for others as it was done for me and my family.”
Labor of Love wasn’t the only project Magoon has undertaken as an ALA member. She led a one-time project, A Cup of Joe for a Joe, to send coffee to deployed troops. Through the project, more than 200 pounds of coffee were collected in 10 days. The coffee was mailed to various military bases all over the world.