Memories can take special – and unusual – forms at Hope Hospice. At a family member’s request, a patient’s boxer shorts were actually transformed into a precious little teddy bear, which became a comforting companion.

Favorite or memorable items of clothing are what Hope calls Personal Treasures, thanks to their sewing volunteers.

“Family members have said to us, I will always think of my husband, or my Dad, in his favorite shirt. They will tell us how much Mom enjoyed lounging in her favorite bathrobe,’” said Hope President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith. “To help preserve the memory, we asked our volunteers to create keepsakes, such as cuddly bears or cozy pillows out of the patient’s clothing, if requested by the family.”

Beckwith said that since the project began in 2007, several hundred Personal Treasures have been created, each one evoking memories and smiles.

“We have had some rather unusual requests, such as the boxer shorts, but we know that each one is important, so we make it happen,” she said.

Jerseys, bowling shirts, bathrobes, skirts and blankets have all been turned into bears and pillows.

“It’s one more thing that we can do for the families in our care, to give them a special kind of comfort on life’s journey,” Beckwith said.