ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Erich Smith, of Latham, and his wife have been spending their golden years volunteering for the Community Hospice in Albany. When the pandemic prevented them from making visitations, Erich started using his crochet talents to make handmade blankets for patients.

The Community Hospice cares for people who are terminally ill and their families during the process of dying and grieving. After retiring Erich and his wife wanted to spend time supporting the group that helped his mother during the last years of her life.

Erich’s grandmother taught him how to crochet at age 8 when he came down with measles—and then chicken pox—and had lots of time on his hands. For years, he would crochet blankets for family members and friends and eventually hospice patients. In the past two years, he has crocheted more than 80 handmade blankets for patients.

“I hope it encourages other people that have talents to either crochet, knit, or quilt and bring happiness to those who are less fortunate than us,” said Erich.

Want to volunteer? Want to donate yarn? Contact Amy Scarlett, the manager of volunteer Services) at The Community Hospice. Here’s her email address: