Ten years ago, Sonia Sotire Malloy, the owner of Greenwich-based SPLURGE, wanted to do something meaningful to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month. When one of her store employees mentioned that patients undergoing chemotherapy often feel cold during treatments, Malloy came up with an idea to donate warm pashmina scarves to cancer patients.
A decade later, SPLURGE, through the help of its customers, has donated 1,200 pashmina scarves to chemotherapy patients at Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center in Greenwich.
“The first year, we delivered about 40 scarves to Greenwich Hospital. The numbers have steadily grown and this year we were able to deliver 210 scarves,” said Malloy, adding that for every scarf donated by a customer, her store matches that donation.
The collection of scarves, in a rainbow of warm and cheerful hues, each have attached hand-written messages of kindness, hope and inspiration from SPLURGE customers.
“People often ask me what to write and I tell them to write a message from the heart. We have such wonderful, kind customers and some of the things they’ve written over the years are so touching,” said Malloy.
Kristina Capretti, Oncology Program Director at Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center in Greenwich, said the heartfelt notes are truly uplifting. “Our patients are so appreciative of the words of encouragement and the beautiful pashminas. It can feel lonely going through an illness and this kind gesture truly makes patients feel cared for and supported. We are thankful to SPLURGE for what has now become an annual tradition here in Greenwich.”
Malloy said when she opened her store in 2007 one of her missions was to “do good while doing business.”
“I’ve spearheaded a lot of programs through the store in order to give back to the community, but this one in particular is very special for me.”