Knitting seniors helping out youth throughout Leeds and Grenville
BROCKVILLE, ONT. -- A group of Brockville women have been putting their knitting skills to good use this summer, and youth throughout Leeds and Grenville will be the ones benefitting the most.
Every Tuesday, Kate Murphy from Community Primary Health Care (CPHC) / Senior Support Services holds a virtual program for area seniors called "Creating Connections."
"We sit, we chat, we have a good time," Murphy said. "We're just here to create connections, fill the gap that COVID created with isolation and loneliness, and try and get back to relationships again, virtually."
Murphy said one of the women in the group, Laurel Healy, talked about putting together a knitting club.
"We married that with our virtual program and that's where Knots of Love came into play," Murphy said. "We thought, hey, if we're all going to meet together, why not have something really positive come out of it?"
The organization dedicated to helping seniors is now gifting everything the group knits to Connect Youth, which helps area youth throughout Leeds and Grenville.
"My sole purpose in life, I feel, is to make a difference in somebody else's life," said Healy, displaying one of the many quilts the group has made. "I thought this would be a bonus because in my heart I was like, 'Let's do something for the others that need it.'"
Healy said the connections group was vital for her to build relationships again during the ongoing pandemic.
"It gives us a connection with the outside world," Healy said. "I know myself, just I'm not a people person, so getting together with people again was really difficult for me and so it was great to see people and get that little bit of stability back in my life."
While some might not be thinking of heavy wool blankets in the middle of August, Robyn Holmes from Connect Youth says colder temperatures will be arriving soon.
"These blankets and toques and knitted items will be used to not only stock our apartment units, but also to provide some comfort and support and warmth for youth that are homeless out in our community," Holmes said.
Connect Youth's mission is to assist, support and offer life skills, education, social and recreation opportunities and a housing program for area youth, and says the donations go a long way to make those struggling feel appreciated.
"It really just shows our youth that people care and there are people there that support them in this community," Holmes added. "The reality is, the homelessness situation doesn't end; it's a year-round problem. The winters in Canada are long and it's very difficult for people who are homeless."
The group is also putting together hygiene boxes with toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant and feminine hygiene products and are always looking for donations of those items, as well as extra yarn for the knitters.
"Even if you think we can't use it, I'm sure we can find a spot," said Healy. "To everyone that has donated yarn, supplies, blankets, anything that they have done, I would just like to say a huge thank you to everyone. It is so, so, much appreciated."
"We have a great time every Tuesday," said Murphy. "We have really good conversations, lots of laughs and then such great products that come out of it.
"Having a knitted blanked from someone in your community that's knitted it specifically for you, to keep you warm, a hat to keep you warm in the winter, to be able to have hygiene products that cost a lot of money instead of taking away from your grocery money, at least we can give you a little bit," Murphy added.
Those interested in donating yarn or hygiene supplies can make arrangements with Senior Support Services / CPHC by calling 1-800-465-7646.