Welcome
Ukraine Shipment Update March 2022
Ukraine

People everywhere have responded so quickly and generously to the Ukraine crisis.  It is inspiring to see that outpouring of goodness and humanity.

The Compassionate Resource Warehouse (CRW) went into action right away and the requested donations began arriving several weeks ago.   They are working together with ICROSS Canada, who are setting up a medical clinic and trauma center (using the container) near the Ukrainian border in Poland and with Soap for Hope, who have donated many much needed hygiene supplies.

The first container was loaded very quickly this past week, thanks to the well-oiled volunteer machine at CRW, who sorted, packed and loaded all the wonderful items donated.  The container is full of mainly medical supplies, including hospital beds and all the equipment and supplies needed in an emergency room. But there was room for a load of Gleaners nourishing dried soup mixes, added on the last day of loading.

Canada Comforts has received so many thoughtful donations, from our steady donors and from their many satellite groups.  The Cloth Castle has been a helpful way station, receiving many of the donations, to pass on to the CRW.  Canada Comforts has sent receiving blankets, diapers, blankets, incontinence kits, baby things and comfort teddy bears in this first container.  We have been asked to continue sewing and knitting all our usual things which will go into the next Ukraine container, focusing more on the refugee camps.

Sylvia has asked for soap for the incontinence and menstrual kits and for the baby and maternity packs.  There is also a great need for new panties in all sizes, for the menstrual and incontinence kits and for the pockets of the dresses.  We cannot finish these kits and send them out without the panties.  Flannelette for these kits, especially in dark colours, is also at the top of Canada Comforts wish list.

Thank you all for your generous donations of time, goods and money for the Ukrainian refugees.  And thank you to the amazing team at the CRW, led by Dell Wergeland, who have been able to meet the needs of the refugees so quickly.

This container is already on its way!


 

MARGUERITE SWALLOW   

Our Secretary, Treasurer, organizer, diaper maker, all-star volunteer and good friend Marguerite is leaving!  She will be moving back to Saskatchewan at the end of April to be closer to her extended family.  We will all really miss her and it will be hard to fill her (very large) shoes!

Marguerite has been with Canada Comforts for about 18 years.  She first met Sylvia at a trade show for volunteer organizations at Cedar Hill Rec Center.  She offered to knit some teddy bears, went to a few Tuesday workshops and found herself in charge of the shorts table.  She remembers many happy times and lots of laughter at the early workshops.

Marguerite became Secretary/Treasurer in 2008, when Canada Comforts Society was applying for BC Charitable Organization registration.  She has been a major pillar of the organization ever since, taking on many and varied responsibilities.

Marguerite will be moving to Kipling, Saskatchewan, two hours east of Regina, and 25 km from where she raised her family.  Many of her family are still close by…3 of her 5 children, 3 of 9 grandchildren and 6 of 8 great grandchildren within 100 km.  And Marguerite will be looking forward to attending little dance recitals, minor hockey games and to spending time with old friends.  It sounds like a wonderful homecoming!

Marguerite’s parting words of advice:

“When you feel you can’t knit one more stitch or sew one more hem, think of the smile on the face of the child who will receive your gift.”

We wish Marguerite all the best and maybe some relaxation in her new endeavor!


 

Canada Comforts Society Workshop News

Our workshop is open every Tuesday 9 - 11:30am from September until mid June. JDF is not allowing anyone to drop off items for Canada Comfort Society but we do have a monthly drop-off in the Juan de Fuca Senior Centre parking lot on the second Tuesday of the month from 10:00-11:00am.

 

Sewers
Menstrual Kits
Freda
bear ladies
February 2022 Receiving Blankets Needed

Canada Comforts Society is very pleased to have The Cloth Castle feature one of our projects. You can find the receiving blanket pattern on our website under Patterns.

The information below is on The Cloth Castle website.

You can make a difference.

This year we are so excited to be working with Canada Comforts Society and The Compassionate Warehouse!

As the need arises Canada Comforts Society organizers will let us know what items they could use help with and we will pass it on!

This is a great local organization and we hope that if you have a few moments you might be able to help! Canada Comforts Society is entirely run by volunteers. Their mandate is to send Canadian love in a practical way to children whose lives have been consumed by war and oppression. Everything that is made for Canada Comforts Society will be placed in the hands of a needy person.

Currently the request from Canada Comforts Society (CCS) is the need for flannel receiving blankets. Do you know that in some parts of the world, when a baby is born all they have to wrap the baby in is newspaper? CCS assembles mother and babe packs that include basic necessitates for both mother and baby; including a flannel receiving blanket.

We have a pattern on our website provided from CCS for the requirements and instructions, click the photo below to go to the pattern. Over the years CCS has fine tuned their pattern as to what works for the recipients; please use the instructions provided. We will collect the blankets here at the Cloth Castle and then pass them onto one of the volunteers.

We are also a drop off site for any fabric donations of flannel fabric, gently used flannel sheets or gently used receiving blankets. Nothing goes to waste! Gently used items can be made into sanitary products. Drop off clean donations at The Cloth Castle.

Little changes bring about big changes!


 

December 2021 Update

Canada Comforts Society wants to let everyone know that while we still are not able to hold our weekly workshop at the Juan de Fuca Seniors Centre our members have been hard at work this year.
When work shops resume an email will be sent to members and information will be posted to the website.

We can have NO drop ins with donations, until further notice, but we will be resuming pickup in the parking lot the second Tuesday in February of items made for Canada Comforts.
Containers are still going out via Compassionate Resource Warehouse but the warehouse is taking a break until January 5th.

Below are some of the items our members have sent in over this past year.

Bibs – 2045
Baby Tops – 1125
Bears in Bags – 740
Boys Shorts – 1175
Diapers – 144 dozen
Dish Cloths – (hundreds)
Hats – (thousands)
Masks – 7,712
Dresses – 2,220
Menstrual Kits – 150
Pillow Cases (dozens)
Receiving blankets – 268
Sweaters – (hundreds)
Quilts – (hundreds)

Judy from North Vancouver made 7670 cloth masks in the last 12 months!

We are always looking for photos and stories regarding our wonderful volunteers. Please send to Joanne Boomer at tjboomer@telus.net and she would be happy to post the information to our volunteer page.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year.

Be kind, be calm and be safe.


 

Delivery of Maternity Packs to pregnant women at the BURUNDI  Makamb clinic
Baby Pacs 1

These were shared during one of the "teaching sessions". The ladies are to bring the packs with them when they are ready to give birth. Those ladies took a peak at those lovely baby portions! and I know that they will be swapping with other ladies when their baby finally is delivered.

Did you know that our mat pack team makes very distinct boy or girl packs! so we know some will be exchanging with others:)

Thank you too all of you who continuously supply CRW with diapers, receiving blankets, hats, baby tops and sweaters, wash cloths, towels, soap, onzies, sleepers, booties, blankets, pillow cases, menstrual pads, disposable bed pads, gowns, gloves, Our mat pack team organize and pack all these items so specifically- an beautifully!

Thank you mat pack team! You are making a difference!

PS-- Thank you to Judy Hardy for sewing those face masks that you see worn here!

Baby Pacs 2

 

Comfort Circle Sewers

May 2021

We’d like to introduce the Comfort Circle Sewers, and hope our sewers will be able to help them.  This Satellite group stretches from Courtenay to Qualicum Bay on Vancouver Island, B.C., and it’s always a pleasure to receive their outstanding work.  There are a number of members, headed by three key ladies:  Mary Cowan, who focuses on the cutting out and organizing of the lovely dresses; Gail Jones, who has become the specialist in sewing wonderful shorts; and Helen Cox, who mostly sews reusable menstrual Hygiene Kits.  All three of them do work on all facets of the items they send to Canada Comforts. (They are great pillow case makers too.) We have a special request for the Hygiene Kits.

We’d be pleased if our sewers and shoppers can help with the Hygiene Kits. These kits consist of washable menstrual pads and a waterproof carrying case. The cost of flannelette is going sky high and Canada Comforts uses so much of it in our quilts, diapers and receiving blankets.  If you have flannelette pieces of any colour, as small as 6” x 9”, please save them for the Kits.  There’s no need to cut anything to size because larger pieces are needed as well.  Shoppers, as you know, we are happy to get gently used flannelette sheets.

10½” X 8½” pieces of poly cotton/cotton left over from other sewing projects can be employed in the Kits as well.  Please save them if you have them!

These kits will allow girls to attend school on a regular basis.  “Educate the girls – Educate the world”.  In the developing world – and not just Africa – it is the women who raise the children and, in too many cases, are the sole financial supporters.  For most of these women, educating their children is as top a priority as feeding them, and the pieces of fabric you save and pass on contribute to that goal.  When dropping off your pieces, mark them “Hygiene Kits” and we’ll see that the Comfort Circle Sewers receive them.

Helen Cox
Helen
Greg Meynert one of the volunteers helping out at the ironing board.
Greg

 

Items Needed

March  2021

Canada Comforts is running low on supplies of fabric and yarn. For fabric we need flannelette, cottons and poly/cottons suitable for little girls dresses, baby tops, shorts,  hospital and teddy bear bags, receiving blankets and diapers.

For yarn we need baby yarn and medium weight (#3 or 4 on the label) yarns for teddy bears, baby sweaters and afghans and cotton yarn for washcloths.

If you are into Spring Cleaning and find a “stash” you’ve been looking at for ages but never get around to using, we can help.  And please tell your friends and neighbours, too. 

Please drop off donations at Juan de Fuca upper parking lot (across from the entrance to the Senior Centre) on the second Tuesday of the month,  10-11 a.m.  or contact Marguerite Swallow at cancoms@shaw.ca or 250-642-4354.

“For 29 years we have sent Canadian love in a practical way to children whose lives have been consumed by war and oppression.”


 

Barb
Super Shopper

Thanks to Barb our “Super Shopper“.

Barb comes with a carload of treasures she finds for us at 2nd hand stores nearly every drop off.


 

Geri
Million Step Challenge by Canada Comforts member, Geri Mitchell-Edwards, Alberta (hiking the South Coast of South Africa)

It is a brand new year and I’m challenging each of you to participate with me in walking a minimum of 1,000,000 steps over the next 12 months. (whenever you start)

Not being a math whiz, I asked my husband Ivor to calculate how many steps per day (walking 5 days per week) would amount to 1,000,000 steps. Believe me, this is something that can be done, effortlessly. 3,846 steps/day (5 days/week) x 52 weeks amount to 1,000,000.

In recording the number of steps you take, you should not include steps taken while walking around the house or working in your garden, etc. Document the number of steps each time you go walking so that, at the end of the year, you will arrive at the desired number of steps you’ve taken.

At the end of 2021, I would certainly be interested in hearing the number of steps you took over the one-year period.  My email address ismitchellge@shaw.ca. I live in a region with its own weather challenges, but I’m going to attempt it, and I hope you will, too.

A VERY  HAPPY  NEW  YEAR  TO  YOU  ALL! Geri Mitchell-Edwards

I may not accomplish Geri’s challenge in a year, but it has already got me out walking more …. giving me more energy for knitting and sewing!!!!  Hope you can join the challenge.  Sylvia Hatfield

 A tribute to Geri written by her Sister, Sybil and Brother-in Law, John

One million step challenge - Jamaican/Canadian woman; defying age, improving health. Geri Mitchell-Edwards, a resident of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, is an inspiration in her own right. She has started a movement that is inspiring the entire globe. Living in the beautiful province of Alberta, and while seeing friends and associates debilitated by avoidable diseases, partially due to lethargy and unhealthy lifestyles, she decided to launch the 2021 challenge. This is a one-year-one-million-step plan to walk one million steps in one year in the great outdoors.

Geri Mitchell-Edwards is no stranger to walking. Growing up in rural Jamaica on a beautiful farm called Berry Hill, walking was sometimes the only way of getting from one district to another.  Fast forwarding to Washington, DC, to become a member of the World Bank community, she became an avid hiker when a part of her weekend recreation was to hike parts of the Appalachian Trail in the Shenandoah Valley.  Upon marrying Dr. Ivor Edwards, a Jamaican/Canadian scientist, she not only found her "kindred spirit" but someone who was consumed with outdoor adventure. Together, they hiked several sites in the Canadian Rockies and many other places such as the Grand Canyon in their international travels.

Their desire to do the ultimate hike was realized when they hiked sections of the Himalayas in Nepal, arriving at the point where Mt. Everest was in full view. These astounding accomplishments have motivated Geri to challenge us to lead active lifestyles at any age; kudos to her.


 

Shoe Boxes and Shopping Bags

Compassionate Resource Warehouse News

CRW is in constant need of Shoe box, cookie tins and other small boxes  to pack items in. 
With our new system of pre-packing pallets, we are requiring more shoe boxes that we have ever used before. There is not as much room in a 4' pallet as packing across an 8 foot space.

CRW packs many things in shoe boxes and tins- (all sizes)- this gives a place to store the enclosed items, or even food after opening. School, office, kitchen household, sewing, hygiene, hardware, toys, special gifts- all use these to pack in. These fill small spaces but also provide vital support for equipment, bikes or boxes.

We also are in need of plastic (or reusable grocery bags for packing linens etc. Please make sure they are clean and not filled with left-over groceries. (unless you add a full box of cookies)  These are used to fill in the gaps and help support bikes, wheelchairs, walkers and other precious items.

We need all of these items on a consistent basis- so are happy to accept your donations whenever you have some.
Its alright to tell you friends, so they can tell their friends, who can tell their friends....:)

Thank you in advance.


 

Masks

Dell Wergeland (from the Compassionate Resource Warehouse) has asked that anyone who wishes, please sew masks as they are now like the washcloths – we can’t get enough of them -  to send to 3rd world countries.  I am including a pattern for a flat mask, which is the preferred style.  The directions say to cut a piece of fabric 16” x 8.5” for adult size.  If you don’t have a length of 16”, two 8.5’s will do nicely.  You just have some extra seams to sew.  Canada Comforts will collect them and pass on to the warehouse.

HOW TO SEW A FABRIC FACE MASK

MATERIALS

  • 100% cotton fabric (with a tight weave)
  • 1/8″ flat elastic for ear loops, or 4 fabric ties (you can use the same cotton fabric to make strips, use premade bias binding, or strips of cotton jersey)
  • fabric scissors
  • ruler
  • pins or clips
  • sewing machine and thread

CUT LIST

For an adult size mask:

  • Cut 1 fabric rectangle 16″ long and 8.5″ wide
  • Cut 2 pieces of elastic, each 7″ long

For a child-size mask:

  • Cut 1 fabric rectangle 14″ long and 6.5″ wide
  • Cut 2 pieces of elastic, each 6″ long

For elastic ear loops:

  • Cut 2 7″ long pieces for an adult mask
  • Cut 2 6″ long pieces for a child mask

For fabric ties, if you aren’t using elastic:

  • Cut 4 rectangles 18″ long by 1.75″ wide. Fold the long sides to meet in the middle, then fold in half again to encase the raw edges. Stitch down the length of the rectangles along the edge to create the ties.

Note: Pre-wash fabric before cutting.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Sew the top side, with pocket opening. Fold the fabric in half, with the right sides facing. Sew along the 8.5″ width edge, using a 5/8″ seam allowance. Leave a 3-4” opening in the center of this seam to create an opening for the filter pocket, and to allow the mask to be turned right side out after sewing.
  2. Press the seam open. Turn the fabric so that the seam with the pocket opening is centered in the middle of one side. Using an iron, press the seam open. Fold the excess seam allowance under, encasing the raw edge of the fabric. Topstitch/zig-zag stitch along both sides of the seam for a neater edge.
  3. Pin Elastic or Fabric Ties. Pin one piece of elastic to each side of the mask, one end to the top corner and one end to the bottom corner. If using fabric ties, pin one tie to each corner, with the rest of the tie sandwiched inside the two layers of fabric.
  4. Sew the Sides. Sew the sides of the facemask. Be careful not to catch the ties in the side seams. Backstitch over the elastic or fabric ties to secure them. Clip the corners, turn the mask right side out, and press with an iron.
  5. Optional: Insert a Flexible Nose Piece. Cut a 6-inch piece of pipe cleaner or other flexible wire to create a nose piece. I folded the ends of wire back into to keep them from poking through the fabric. Place the wire through the pocket hole and slide it up to the very top of the mask. Stitch around it on all 3 sides to keep it in place.
  6. Sew the Pleats. Make the mask with three evenly spaced lines. Use your markings to create three evenly spaced 1/2” pleats. Pin the folds in place, making sure all pleats are facing the same direction. Sew down each side to secure the pleats.

ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS

To make bias binding fabric ties: Cut 18″ long strips of fabric, 1.75″ wide. Fold the long sides together (lengthwise or hot-dog style) so that they meet in the middle. Then fold the strips in half again (lengthwise) to encase the raw edges. Stitch down the strips along the edge to create the ties.

Disclaimer: This pattern has not been industry-tested and is intended for educational purposes only. The decision to use this device is solely your own.

Copyright: SarahMaker.com                                        2020 March 24 

Mask
Masks
Mask Info
Masks
Bears
Norgarden Knitters

Compassionate Resource Warehouse News

Thank you Norgarden Knitters

See all those happy " little bear faces"? Soon they will be causing children in a different country to share those smiles- except this time- squeals will be heard along with the smiles!

This was only part of the beautiful gifts that came our way.
Keep up the great work and we will keep sharing your gifts with others!


 

Don
The Compassionate Resource Warehouse Update

Compassionate Resource Warehouse 

Thank you to Canada Comforts who challenged their creative group to donate school supplies in memory of Don Hatfield.

Bins of supplies and other precious gifts were given in his memory.
These will soon be making a difference in the lives of children around the world. education is such a life changing, life-altering gift to a child or an adult.

Don made an impact during his life- and will continue to make a difference for years to come.
Thank you Canada Comforts for hosting this event and for your continued support for CRW!

All of you are making a difference!
You are appreciated and loved.