Knitting for a Cause

by SalvationArmy.ca
Share:

National Volunteer Week, April 19-25, is a time to celebrate Canada’s volunteers. The Salvation Army recognizes and honours the more than 130,000 people who donate their time and talents to help people in need—and ask nothing in return. For example, at The Salvation Army’s knitting club in Oshawa, Ont., one of the best parts of the activity is giving.

Bonnie crochets lap blankets

Bonnie crochets lap blankets

“Before COVID-19, each Monday and Wednesday, our group of 15 participants gathered around a table in the community and family Services office,” says Bonnie, who has attended the group for four years. “I first came to The Salvation Army to access its food bank. One day, I was asked to join the knitters. I did, and never looked back.”

For seven years, since the group was formed, many craft articles have been made and given away.  Hats, scarves and mittens are given to the homeless; Twiddle Muffs, double thickness muffs with bits and bobs attached inside and out, provide stimulation activity for restless hands for children on the autism spectrum and seniors battling dementia; scarves are placed in Christmas hampers, and afghans are delivered to the sick and shut in.

Marilyn knits twiddle muffs

Marilyn knits twiddle muffs

“Knitting gives me a purpose—an opportunity to help people in my community,” says Marilyn. “When my late husband passed, I couldn’t socialize and spent my days at home alone. Coming here makes me feel safe, comfortable and valued.”

Steve knits socks

Steve, who has come to the group since its inception, taught himself how to knit socks. But giving back isn’t the only reason he attends the group.

“I’m a recovering alcoholic,” says Steve. “The ladies in the group keep me in check. And beyond our knitting, we enjoy other social opportunities such as picnics and potlucks. These outings give us all something to look forward to.”

Phyllis knits scarves

Phyllis knits scarves

I am newly retired and wanted to fill my days with something positive,” says Phyllis, the newest member of the group. “Finishing a scarf for someone in need appealed to me. Knowing that I’m contributing to society keeps me healthy and happy.”

As a volunteer, you can inspire hope and transform lives. For more information visit SalvationArmy.ca/volunteer.

By Linda Leigh