Knitting Needles in Hand, Group of South Okanagan Elders Donate Blankets to Mamas for Mamas – Okanagan

So what do you do with the hundreds of extra hand-crocheted washcloths? A group of women from Penticton had just the ticket.

The ladies, all residents of Hamlets in Penticton, recently armed themselves with knitting needles and crochet hooks and set to work making blankets.

The beneficiary of their generosity was an Okanagan charity, Mamas for Mamas, which supports mothers and caregivers in crisis who face a variety of poverty-related struggles.

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“The South Okanagan Women in Need Society had a whole bunch of washcloths and wanted to donate them to us,” said Hamlets Recreation Director Carolyn Denise.

“I thought we could bring them in and people could take them, but these (resident) ladies had another plan; to sew them together.

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“They wanted to make these wonderful blankets and give them back to the community so someone else could enjoy them. They just wanted to give back.


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Denise just met someone from Mamas for Mamas and it seemed like the perfect match.

“Homemade blankets are special because they come from the heart,” Denise said. “The ladies said specifically that if there were any young women who needed them, we would like them to have the blankets.”

According to Melanie Welechenko, resource coordinator for the Penticton branch of Mamas for Mamas, the recipients of the blankets were especially happy.

“They (beneficiaries) are reminded that there are people in their community who care about them and their families,” Welechenko said. “Receiving something handmade when you might not have much of a support program adds that touch of humanity and connection that we seek to provide our families in the South Okanagan.

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“We share with the families where the blankets are from and they love that they come from a different generation of moms.”

Wilma Hornby was one of the volunteers who assembled the washcloths, usually working on the covers when watching a baseball game on television.

“We’re in a safe place here and a lot of these women who got the blankets aren’t,” Hornby said.


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Margaret Anderson also helped put the pieces together.

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“We just had a whole stack of squares (material) sitting there and it looked like something really important needed to be done with it,” she said.

“We really didn’t know much about them (Mamas for Mamas) but when we found out about the band. It was just great that they were helping other people, so we wanted to help them.

Many of the same women have also volunteered to help others in the community, including evacuees from the recent Keremeos Creek wildfire.

“I’m so proud of these ladies who want to give back to the community,” Denise said. “It’s something they really do from the heart.”


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