Excess yarn and fabrics are in demand, to help the youngest and oldest in the community.
A new group, calling itself Help@Stitch in Maple Ridge, is calling on the community to donate spare wool and yarn so they can continue crocheting or knitting baby blankets for the local hospital and sewing or quilting lap blankets and/or sensory blankets for people living in local care homes.
Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation recently received a donation of blankets, hats, and booties for newborn from the group, which were shared with the hospital maternity department – with some shared with the Fraser Health’s public health nurses “to see that they get out into the community where needed,” explained foundation’s Deanna Lackey.
As well, a further donation of lap blankets and shoulder hugs were given to residents in the adjacent Baillie House and those going through the local PATH unit.
“Every stitch makes a huge impact in our community. Thank you, our hearts are full,” Lackey said.
In the meantime, Help@Stitch founder Maryann Doucet, explained that everyone involved donates their time and is passionate about helping these recipients.
“The whole thing is a matter of giving,” said the Maple Ridge resident. The materials are donated, the time is donated. Then the creations are given away to those who need them.
“All our time is volunteered. All our compassion is stitched into every piece,” Doucet said, noting that in its first three months that the group has been going, its membership has already grown to 99. That includes people in Surrey, Coquitlam, and Abbotsford who are anxious to be part of the kindness movement.
“You know the saying, it takes a village to make beautiful things happen,” she said.
While the fledgling group has given to the local hospital, and even sent off a lap blanket to a local woman’s mother in Ontario, most of the finished pieces have been gifted in the Maple Ridge area, so far. Another two bags of lap and wheelchair blankets are currently waiting to be delivered to a Chartwell residential care home, and Doucet expects to soon expand the giving to Pitt Meadows and beyond.
“Really, it costs us nothing to make people smile and to make a difference in someone’s life,” she said, recalling recently watching a woman “lit up like a Christmas tree” when she receive a blanket.
“If you are interested in joining our group, we are happy to have you! There are no rules! Get creative. Share any amount of time you have. We have yarn and fabric available for you, at no cost, if this is cause you would consider supporting,” Doucet elaborated.
While it is a Facebook-based group, some of the members do get together in-person in Maple Ridge for coffee, tea, snacks, and laughter.
“Exercise your imaginations and bring your ideas with you,” Doucet said, excited to present the most recent donation.
For information on how to donate materials to the cause, people are invited to message the group’s Facebook page.
“The group is hard at work on some fidget blankets for us to also share with our Baillie House residents, and we look forward to that donation when they have some completed,” Lackey added.
“A fidget blanket has several different objects attached to them to stimulate seniors, patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia and keeps them focused on an activity and thereby reduces emotional escalation escalation that leads to agitation,” Lackey explained. “It also helps relieve boredom, as well.”
In addition to accepting community donations such as this, the hospital foundation is currently running one of its larger annual fundraisers – a 50/50 raffle that concludes midnight Aug. 31, with draw to follow.
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