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. πŸ˜‰ 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)

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