Today, I tip my hat to Danielle Letourneau. When she learned that the province of Quebec was to receive upwards of 7500 Syrian refugees, and that Canada was taking in a total of 25 000 refugees, she put out word to fellow knitters by creating a Facebook page called 25 000 tuques. Within a week, there are "chapters" all over Canada, from Nova Scotia to BC.
Some groups are keeping their efforts local -- they are donating their knits to families being sponsored in their own communities -- and other groups are sending their knitted wares to Québec for distribution on the families' initial days in Canada.
In the past week, I've been contacted by two organizations wanting to do something along this line, and I'm liaising with Heritage Canada to keep them apprised of what's going on.
Canadian Guild of Knitters is not recommending that people stop supporting their local charities, nor are we requesting your support; we merely offer the following information in case you want to join this effort.
Personally, I've linked with one of the four Ontario groups I found today (the GTA group). There is a group in Toronto, one in Ottawa, and one in Bruce-Grey-Simcoe. All have Facebook pages, and you can find them by doing a search on Facebook for 25 000 tuques.
If you want to help, please contact me through the website, or through Facebook. The Calgary group Calgary's 1300 Stitches for Syria put some good information on their page as to guidelines for the knits, which I'm offering here for your reference.
DONATE: Help by donating one or more of the items we’re collecting. Please note these items MUST BE NEW due to health restrictions. They can be purchased or handmade items. Also please be advised that currently these are the ONLY items we are able to accept.
We also ask that you ensure the items you donate are suitable for our cold winter.
We are accepting donations of the following items ONLY in sizes from infant to adult:
Please make sure your donations meet the following criteria;
1.All items must be void of any possibly offensive religious or political graphics, phrases and or comments.
2. Please include the suggested care of your donation. (ie. hand wash in cold water, machine washable etc.)
3.Please include the fiber content of the item you’re donating. In the event of items made with wool this is critical information for those with allergies to it.
4.Please place the donated item(s) in a clear Ziploc bag (one per hat, pair of mitts etc.) to protect them while also allowing the contents to be visible for easy handling and distribution.
Please Note: If you would like to include a brief message or welcome message for the recipient of your donation please feel free to do so. Each family will be working with a translator.
Already there are photos of some of the work done by some of Canada's knitters. Each of us is also the power of one, and with the co-ordinating efforts of Danielle Letourneau, the people on the way to us will get first hand knowledge of that power and of the warmth of Canadian knitters.