Meet Patti Beutel, a longtime supporter of Montefiore Nyack. Patti is a resident of West Nyack, a cancer survivor, and a dedicated volunteer who has been serving as the coordinator of the Warming Hearts of Rockland program since 2011.
Warming Hearts of Rockland supports people going through chemotherapy at Montefiore Nyack, and have been delivering gifts to the Hospital since October 2011. The gifts are fashionable, reusable tote bags filled with basic amenities for comfort. Although she didn’t initiate the program, Patti joined the project in December of 2011 and has been hand delivering the bags to the Hospital’s Infusion Center ever since.
“I act as a program coordinator, but this isn’t my project, it’s the community’s project,” says Patti. “Through community support and donations, we are able to remind people we are thinking of them while they are being treated.”
The beautiful bags that Patti assembles, with the help of volunteers, are filled with useful items, such as water bottles, puzzle books, a blanket, pen and paper, and other supplies, to help occupy their time during the treatment. Earlier this year, Patti met a woman who received a Warming Hearts bag five years ago. She expressed her appreciation of the comforting thoughts and told Patti that she still wraps herself in the blanket she was given.
“This is just another reminder of how meaningful our support is to people going through chemotherapy,” says Patti. “We are definitely making a difference in people’s lives, and none of it would be possible without the generous donations from the community.”
Since 2011, over 1,500 Warming Hearts bags have been given to patients starting chemotherapy at Montefiore Nyack’s Infusion Center. Even throughout the pandemic, Patti was still hard at work reminding everyone that the pandemic didn’t stop people needing care for cancer, and showing them there are people thinking of them was more important than ever.
Five years ago Patti was undergoing treatment, but she refused to let the program stop while she was recovering. “Family, friends, and volunteers came together to keep Warming Hearts going,” says Patti. “This is truly a community collaboration of love and kindness. I’m thankful for everyone who makes it possible.”
We are grateful to Patti for coordinating this amazing community effort, spreading kindness, and making a difference in the lives of some of the Hospital’s most vulnerable patients.
“A little kindness goes a long way,” says Patti. “Donations are the only way we can continue to support our neighbors.”