It started with an awareness.
Prince Harry and Megan Markle are getting married on the same day as the Yadkin Valley Wine Festival.
How can there be a royal wedding, even if it’s not technically a royal wedding, without glorious hats? The wine festival, very much a garden party itself, almost requires a hat. Put the two together and add a good cause and there’s no end to the fun to be had.
And fun it has been, from collecting old hats rescued from attics including one that is nearly a century old, to decorating new hats with new friends.
But what would the cause be?
There are many fantastic local charities who help in fundamental ways.
From caring for food, housing and medical needs to seeing that children are attended after school and that the local environment encourages well-being in visitors as well as residents, the non-profit organizations in the Yadkin Valley are plentiful and deserving.
For this project, one stood heads above the rest capping off the cycle for all the rest.
Hospice is a program that everyone should know about and even have some interaction with, preferably before it’s needed. Being an absolute eventuality for every human, learning how to process death can be helpful with life.
It’s certainly not easy and each relationship takes its own course, but just being aware before you need them that there are people to help you can make a difference, or at least knowing about the services available can make the end-of-life process a little less difficult.
Locally we have the non-profit, Mountain Valley Hospice and Palliative Care.
Although all hospice companies offer a variety of services, at Mountain Valley there is no charge to the patient, which is why we have chosen it as recipient of the proceeds from the sale of the hats we have collected and decorated.
In addition to the hats, we have also collected note cards.
When you purchase your hat, we hope you will leave a note explaining what made you stop to visit the hats for hospice booth at the Yadkin Valley Wine Festival.
Maybe your Aunt Alice used to wear hats and you wanted to purchase one in memory of her, or perhaps your Uncle Owen was served by hospice and you wanted to take the opportunity to say thank you.
These colorful notes will be collected and, in addition to the monies earned from the sale of the hats, will be presented to Mountain Valley Hospice.
Douglas Sanders, the idealist behind the movement, and I would like to encourage everyone to stop by the Hats For Hospice tent to leave a message or a donation even if you bring your own hat.
In a community of givers, we encourage you to give the greatest gift of all: appreciation.
Beanie Taylor is a staff reporter for The Tribune. She can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TBeanieTaylor.