Community Service

The Division of Hematology and Oncology loves to give. We are proud of our service to the community on a local and national level. Our faculty and staff have generously supported hurricane relief efforts, school supply drives, and the Ronald McDonald house. Our annual holiday project, Michigan Mittens for Chemotherapy Patients, has provided over 9,400 “mittens” stuffed with care and comfort items!

Michigan Mittens for Chemotherapy Patients Holiday Project

Patient receives a Michigan Mitten
Patient receives a Michigan Mitten

When patients arrive for chemotherapy the week prior to Christmas, they receive a “Michigan Mitten” stuffed to the brim with a carefully curated selection of items. Comfort items may include tissues, lip balm, hand sanitizer, dental care kit, and unscented lotion. Just for fun, we add in earbuds, coloring books & colored pencils, puzzle book, playing cards, hot chocolate, candy, gum, and chocolate.

Employee volunteers stuff Michigan Mittens

A team of dedicated employee volunteers plan and carry out this project year after year. There are fundraisers to organize, lunchtime fabric cutting parties, sewing, and shopping to organize. Stuffing the mittens is the easiest part of the project. Once staging is complete, a team of 12 stuff 500 mittens in about 90 minutes!

The project originated in 1995 after a young employee was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Today, that person is an oncology nurse working in a local infusion center. 

We receive numerous notes of gratitude from patients. One patient expressed their thanks by writing, "I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your mitten and special gifts! It really brightened my day! Your time and effort to put it together, and think of the variety of items to include in it, is a blessing that I will not forget. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!”

Michigan Mitten

The project is entirely volunteer-driven and totally funded by donations.
The Rogel Cancer Center and the Division of Hematology and Oncology cosponsor the project.

To learn more, please contact:

To donate to our Michigan Mittens, please visit the Michigan Mitten Project online giving page.