Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A fall update

Well, we were planning on having a packing night on September 21st here at the Warm Hands Network HQ (aka my east-end Ottawa home) when we received word in the late afternoon that there were severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings. We decided to cancel since all the team were coming from the centre of town and the west end. It was a good call, because the tornadoes that whipped through here caused mayhem throughout the city.

In the meantime, I topped up a couple of boxes (totalling about 70 lbs) that were in progress from our last packing night and sent them off with two local pediatric physicians travelling to Iqaluit at the beginning of this month.

Next up was a trip to Larga Baffin, where I dropped off several bags of blankets, a small bag of slippers, a few fur coats, some wool, and some knitting and sewing supplies. The staff worker receiving the items was very grateful to receive everything.

This week Anita and I went to Canadian North Cargo where they received about 100 lbs of items for Jimmy Hikok School in Kugluktuk. It was very rewarding to see the boxes head into the cargo bay on their way north. When I contacted the principal at the school regarding sending items this year, she was very grateful to hear from us, as she had just given away the last hat from our last shipment.

With the closing of the two locations of Yarn Forward and Sew-On in Ottawa, we have lost one drop-off location. However, Louise at "Yarns Ewe'll Love", in the former Kanata location of Yarn Forward has agreed to be a drop-off location. Thanks Louise! 

All the items below have been sent off to Iqaluit, Kugluktuk, and locally to Larga Baffin.

My apologies if you don't see a photo of your items. I did my best to take photos before packing them up, but occasionally things get missed. Also, I hope I don't make you dizzy with the different floor angles! The room I use for "HQ" was getting crowded! Please excuse some of the differences in font size on the captions. Blogger was not cooperating with me. ;) 

For those new to the blog, the names in brackets refer to the nickname on Ravelry.

Our next shipment will be going with the doctors up north early in the new year. No set date as yet, but I'm happy to receive your parcels whenever you send them.

Finally, if you like to knit mittens or socks, we can really use those for our shipments, especially ones to fit school-aged children. Wool socks are nearly impossible to find, so they are much appreciated.

Thank you all for your contributions and keep them coming!

 A lovely collection of mittens from Christine in Rockport, Maine

 Hats, neck warmers and mittens from Barb in Hamilton (and her guide dog Lilac!)

Socks and mittens from Marie-Caroline (tineke358) in Ottawa 

Vest, hats and socks from Jeannine (DouceAubergine) in Ottawa

 Mittens, socks and neck warmers from Wendy (Wentheknitter) in Ottawa

 Hat and mittens from Christine (CraftyEllam) 

 Lots of warm socks and a pair of mittens from Edith in Stoneham, QC

 Neck warmers, mittens, and slippers from Donna (donilou2)

Blanket, neck warmers, and thrum mittens from local knitter Kathy in Orleans

Knitted mittens and colourful fleece hats from crafters in Huntsville. 
This is just a portion of what they sent! Thanks ladies!

 Hat and mittens from Carol Ann in St. Margaret's Bay, Nova Scotia

A scrap nap blanket made by yours truly 

Blankets, shawls, hats and a neck warmer from Julie (Wabibrook)
in New Liskeard, Ontario

 Colourful socks and a pair of mittens from longtime contributor 
Jackie (JCL) in Washington State

Hat and neck warmers from Phyllis (NoCoMary) in Denver, CO

 A huge contribution of neck warmers from "Purls of Wisdom", 
a knitting group at "Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada"

 Slippers, hats, socks and a blanket from the "Faithful Fingers" knitting group 
at St. Paul and St. John's Anglican Church in Haileybury, Ontario 

Assorted items from the "Happy Hands Knit and Crochet Group" in Invermere, BC

 Hats, mittens and socks from the prolific Wendy (flowerman) 
in Smoky Lake, Alberta

Sweaters, vests, hats, and a sewn blanket from Anne in Victoria Harbour, Ontario

A sweet baby sweater and booties set, hats and slippers from 
Nancy in Beaconsfield, QC

Two lovely child-sized sweaters and a vest from Jan (Jangildart) in Parksville, BC

A heap of hats from knitters in Guelph and Cambridge, Ontario

 Hat and mittens from Jody (Bettysgirl) in South Carolina

 Neck warmers, hats, baby booties, and mittens from Susan in Massachusetts

 Hats and mittens from Stephanie in Illinois

 Blankets and hats from knitters in Alexandra, Ontario. 
This is just a portion of what they sent along!

 Hats and neck warmers from local knitter Claire in Orleans.

 Slippers, hats, and mittens and toys from Linda in BC 

Hats, shawls, balaclavas and blankets from Barbara (Obasaan) in Japan
(It was getting hard to find some clear floor space!)

Bag blankets for Larga Baffin sewn by Jeannine, with a blanket tucked inside

Socks and mittens from Anna (Atopbing) in Morrisburg, Ontario

 Two hats from Janet (busknitter) in New Brunswick

Mittens, neck warmer, and hats from Anne (libraryknitter6) In New Brunswick

 Hats from Sarah L. in New Brunswick

Hat and mittens from a knitter in PEI, via Janet

Blankets, slippers, fur coats, sewing and knitting supplies for Larga Baffin here in Ottawa

As you can see from this post, we have contributors from all over the place!

All the best to you all!
- Suzanne (on behalf of the Warm Hands Network team)

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Hello all!
This is my first post as the new Executive Director of the Warm Hands Network. 😊 I'm so happy to be continuing the fine work that Anita and Amy began eleven years ago!

With the closing of Yarn Forward on Bank St. here in Ottawa, we have lost one of our main drop-off points. However, Wabi-Sabi continues to collect for us, and isn't too much further away for you in-town people. We received a huge donation of knitting and sewing supplies from Yarn Forward (thanks Jo-Ann!) which we will be delivering to Larga Baffin. For those unfamiliar with it, Larga Baffin is a local facility in which residents of Nunavut stay while in Ottawa for medical treatments.

Speaking of Larga, a couple of weeks ago I visited there with Anita to drop off several large bags of blankets, slippers, and yarn. We were able to see the joy on the clients' faces as they chose blankets for themselves and/or family members. A few years ago we decided to donate any blankets we receive to Larga, instead of sending them up North ourselves. This serves a few purposes: it saves precious packing space for warm garments for the children, it helps us have a personal connection with the North right here in Ottawa, and it gives a creative outlet to local individuals and groups who like to make blankets.

One of our northern connections is a professional who lives in Iqaluit who comes to Ottawa a couple of times a year. I gave her a large box of items which she will distribute to other communities. It's so great to have this chain of connection - dedicated knitters/crocheters, we packers, and then our community contacts.

Without further ado, here are some of the items we packed up last week at packing night. We basically took over the main level of my house, and my husband and son were sent off to watch a movie in the basement. 😉 Please note - we do our best, but not everything gets photographed. We often get bags of donations with no names attached, or names get misplaced, so our apologies if you don't see your items here. Please know that everything you drop off or send gets sent up North or to Larga Baffin.

From Wendy in Ottawa (wentheknitter)

                   From Nicole in Toronto (the baby socks will go to Larga Baffin)

  From Pam in Ottawa

                      From Nancy in Beaconsfield - so many colourful items!

    From Beverly in Toronto - a huge box of vests, hats, mittens and
some sewing supplies for Larga Baffin

From Rebecca in Ottawa - such a prolific mitten knitter!

        From Mary B. in Almonte (I wish you could see these socks in person!
All in sock-weight yarn, each pair unique - 50 pairs of them!)

 From Ella in Perth

                                    From the "Faithful Fingers" knitting group at St. Paul and St. John's Anglican Church in Haileybury Ontario - a big donation of sweaters, hats, blankets, vests

 From Sabrina (knitphomaniac) in Mississauga, along with more hats, slippers, mittens and socks

 From Catriona in Ottawa - these are so squishy and cosy!

 From Margaret in Ottawa 

More Margaret! This lady has been busy :)

Pat in Consecon sent a large donation of hats and neckwarmers.
These are a few of her cosy hats.

 From Jeannine (douceaubergine) a huge donation of mittens, socks, neckwarmers, and hats.
Jeannine has been a regular at our packing nights but is no longer able to attend.
We'll miss you!

 Friends and packers Claire and Carlene!

A big thank-you to all of you who continue to knit and contribute to the Warm Hands Network. There will always be children in Canada's North who need warm garments, and every bit helps!

If you can, please keep knitting through the summer months. We will be sending boxes up with the doctors (local pediatric ENTs) in early September and again in October. Another packing night will likely be held in late August in anticipation of sending the boxes up North. If you are mailing parcels, please remember to send your items to the new Warm Hand Network address.

I wish you all a wonderful summer!
- Suzanne (on behalf of the Warm Hands Network)