École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Lucie participates in a program called EcoSchools. EcoSchools are committed to providing environmental education to their students and encourage students to become environmentally responsible citizens.
Part of being an EcoSchool is reducing waste and recycling different objects. After accepting a variety of items, including used batteries and glasses, teacher Jocelyne Delorme also ended up with 36 balls of used yarn.
“I said, ‘What am I going to do with this?'” Delorme told Seaway News, “Lise is one of our retired teachers from our school and her mom was here at the manor. I said, maybe it would be a good idea to get knitters, if there are any interested, to do some knitting for the kids at our school. She has been the intermediate between her and her mom since the beginning.”
Lise Coté’s mother, Elizabeth Viau, got things organized and reached out to McConnell Manor’s activity coordinator, Nicole Farland. The next day, Farland had made a sign asking for volunteer knitters. A week later they had 5 knitters, and that number soon grew to 9.
McConnell Manor resident, Elizabeth Viau, taught herself to knit around 50 years ago from a book. Her first item knitted was a christening blanket for her daughter. From there she knit sweaters, mitts, hats, and other things for herself, her children, and grandchildren. This is Viau’s first time knitting for charity.
Hielkje Veenstra, another resident, learned to knit in Holland in grade 1. “They taught us how to knit. That was right after the war, so it was basically a necessity,” she explained.
While these ladies have gone through the yarn originally donated by the school, they have found more and kept going.
“Now we have too many mitts,” explained Delorme. She hopes to have her students put a message of hope on the surplus mitts and donate them to next year’s Christmas basket campaign.
Meanwhile, McConnell Manor’s new volunteer knitting group is actively recruiting new residents with a reputation for knitting.