They are also called: Prayer Shawls, Peace Shawls, or Mantles. Here is a link to Prayer Shawl Ministry. This white Comfort Shawl will be donated to the First Congregational Church in Watertown, CT. Many churches have a Prayer Shawl Ministry. Check to see if yours does, it is a wonderful way to donate time to someone in need. If you google 'prayer shawl pattern' you will find a number of sites that have free patterns and ideas for these lovely gifts of comfort.
I decided to make three in memory of my mother for a number of reasons. My sister's church gave her and my nephew each a shawl when my nephew was diagnosed with Crohn's disease earlier this year, the first shawl will go there. My other sister said that her church handed shawls out to those in need, too, the second will go there (it is a lovely lavender color--my mom loved lavender.) The third shawl will go to my Aunt who was the one who taught me about Prayer Shawls a number of years ago. She will pass it on to someone in need. That one will probably be green, because I love green.
Although the church I belong to does not have a Shawl Ministry, it does many other good things in our community and throughout the world. Since I know that shawls comfort and help those in need, and I know that God loves everyone no matter what church they belong to, I am happy to knit shawls for others and hopefully bring joy to someone who is in need.