Helping kids in need: The Woollen Warmth Project

Looking for a way to harness your knitting skills for the greater good? Last year, Markham resident Kerry McRorie started the Woollen Warmth Project, a group that knits hats and mittens for children in need, and they are always looking for new members.

Woollen Warmth Project members meet and knit together once a month through KnitSchool, an online business that also teaches classes and workshops in Markham. Other members of the project who can’t meet regularly contribute pieces they have knitted at home. They donate their lovingly crafted items to a nearby school.

McRorie was inspired to start the project after she watched a CBC show featuring a group of knitters in Western Canada, who got together to knit items for the less fortunate people in their community. The items were left with a sign to the local community to take what they need.

“They went to a downtown area with their newly knitted mitts, hats and scarves, and wrapped them around park benches and street lights,” she said. “I wanted to do something similar but I didn’t know how to get started. I also didn’t want to just leave the items out because I wondered what would happen to them. I ended up contacting the principal of the school in Markham my children went to, with an idea to donate our knitted pieces to another local school and she thought it was a great idea.

“We brought our hats and mitts to the kids in junior kindergarten through Grade 3 at their school’s outdoor winter carnival. We hung the mitts and hats in trees and each piece had a little tag that said: ‘I am not lost. I was handmade just for you with lots of love. If you are cold and need me, please take me home.’ They were so excited.”

This year, the group has decided to spread the love and do it all again, this time with a new school.

“We want to branch out to other communities,” said McRorie. “We’d love to get other people interested in the project and maybe they can even re-create this in their own communities.”

The Woollen Warmth Project is aiming to deliver their hats and mitts to this coming year’s chosen school in the second half of January.

Join by emailing McRorie at kerrymcrorie@gmail.com.

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