Magic Shears co-owner Debbie Howell holds up one of the handmade quilts that was donated during this year’s collection drive for cancer patients on Nov. 22.


Downtown Arlington business Magic Shears will again be collecting donations to help cancer patients and their families get through chemotherapy.

This is the 15th year that owners of Magic Shears have held the donation collection in honor of their son who passed away due to cancer.

“It actually started out with a friend of Cameron’s,” who brought items to a cancer program, said Debbie Howell, Cameron’s mother and co-owner of Magic Shears.

“After that we decided to donate to Cascade Valley Hospital because that’s where Cameron went and we have our business here,” she said.

The donation drive is open now through Dec. 20.

They collect items to keep cancer patients warm or activities to help them pass the time.

“When you’re doing chemo you’re really cold, so our son always wanted to have a little blanket,” said Howell.

As part of the donation collection, Howell said she usually gets homemade quilts. However, Skagit Regional Health doesn’t take anything homemade so she has started donating to Everett cancer clinics in addition to Arlington’s hospital.

Many of the donations she receives are meant to help people pass the time, she said.

“Going to the different hospitals when our son was sick there wasn’t that much for them to do,” she said.

Often families bring a number of small items that can help provide some activity.

“I collect small activities things like puzzles, books, coloring books and crayons,  and journals,” said Howell.

Howell said that she wants cancer patients to have as easy a time as possible in the hospital.

“I want them to be at ease and as comfortable as they can be,” she said.

The collection drive often brings in many items to the local barbershop.

“We empty out our bin a couple of times and then bring it up to the hospital before Christmas so they can have a Christmas present,” said Howell.

She said that there’s many people in the community who have dealt with a loved one who went through cancer.

“There’s hardly anyone I know that hasn’t had to deal with cancer in some way,” she said.

Howell hopes that families will continue to bring whatever they can.

“Take your kids to the Dollar Store and get a coloring book and crayons and let them know where it is going toward,” she said.

“I’m just trying to bring a little comfort to patients while they’re getting cancer treatments,” she said.

Magic Shears is at 306 N. Olympic Ave., No. 1339, Arlington.

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