Grace Ganimian

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Grace Ganimian and her late husband, Yervant Ganimian, owned the Hye Quality Bakery in downtown Fresno, California for 30 years.

She is also known for her volunteering activities.

Since July, 2005, by then 92-year-old Ganimian has been volunteering for Children's Hospital Central California, making caps for premature babies and infants. She also crochets soft cotton-filled balls for children to play with and hats for young cancer patients. As for January 2006 Ganimian has crocheted more than 650 items.

Ganimian started crocheting for the hospital after receiving an appeal for a donation in the mail.

"I felt so bad. I couldn't give money, but I could offer my services," said Ganimian.

Her granddaughter, Michelle Maroot, drove Ganimian to the hospital, where she applied to be a volunteer. Ganimian kept track of her volunteer hours, which had totaled 1, 298 from July 2005 till January 2006.

"I get up in the morning and I can't do heavy housework, but I can take care of my house and my dog, and I sit down and crochet," said Ganimian. "I do it all day."

Ganimian, who had arthritis in her fingers, said it was good exercise for her fingers and for the brain, because she had to count stitches.

When Ganimian had a batch of hats, caps and balls ready, Michelle Maroot drove her to the hospital to deliver them.

Ganimian wanted every child hospitalized over Christmas to have a gift, so she crocheted 180 small balls from red, green, and white yarn. Filled with cotton batting, the balls were soft enough for children to throw around without hurting anyone or damaging hospital equipment.

"She provided such an element of care that is so special," said hospital volunteer coordinator Sharon Steinwand. "The time, caring, and love that goes into each piece is noticed by the families."

In 2005, during the pontifical visit of Catholicos Karekin II to Fresno, Ganimian and several other volunteers received a special blessing from the Catholicos. He also gave the volunteers crosses he had blessed.


Sources

  • Ganimian Graces Newborns with Handknit Caps, ASBAREZ Online, January 20, 2006