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It is absolutely not surprising to me that there are annual awards for heroism for firefighters. It’s a tough and scary job and those people certainly behave as heroes. But I do admit I was a little bit surprised to find out that one of the annual Firehouse Heroism Program’s awards this year went to someone who was being recognized for her crochet contribution to her community. Awesome!

The Progress-Index out of Petersburg, Virginia reported earlier this month that Firehouse Magazine had honored two Petersburg Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services employees with this award, which recognizes the individual’s contributions to community service. One of those people was Gail McCann, a code compliance plan reviewer, who was recognized for the effort that she has made to crochet items to donate to various charities over the years, including the American Cancer Society.

McCann’s interest in crocheting for this particular cause came out of a personal experience with the illness. Her mother suffered from cancer and had to undergo treatments. McCann wanted to be there with her in the hospital but needed something to do to keep herself from going crazy while she was there. Crochet was the perfect solution. This makes perfect sense to me because it’s a common theme in the research that I’ve been doing into the health benefits of crochet. Crochet is soothing in potentially stressful situations like dealing with illness.

Of course, the more hours that you’re sitting there crocheting, the more items that you suddenly have. And that’s when McCann began donating those items to cancer patients. She makes hats, shawls and scarves for cancer patients. She guesses that she’s probably donated at least one hundred hats so far.



San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!


  1. Kudos to her and kudos to them for recognizing her. Anything that brings attention to crochet and especially to those in need is wonderful.

    • Kathryn Reply

      @Sandie – Definitely a great point. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who enjoys positive stories about crochet!

  2. Love this story. Thank you for sharing it, Kathryn. I wish I had thought about crochet when my husband was in the hospital having his brain tumor removed. That would have truly helped me get through those long terrifying hours of surgery, for sure!

    • Kathryn Reply

      @Keri … That must have been so scary! I definitely want to remember to take crochet to any type of hospital waiting I have to do in the future.

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