Many hands made the inaugural Tamworth District Lions Club’s mitten fundraiser a productive venture as $2,061 was raised for Christmas baskets.
Brenda Mayhew started the campaign as a way to get back involved in her community at Christmas time after years of planning charitable events in the Burlington area. Her husband Maurice is a Lion and she saw value in the club’s basket program which provides food, household items and children’s toys for families that may not be able to afford a nice Christmas.
Instead of taking on an additional bookkeeping client this year, she decided to take up knitting to raise money for the cause. In particular, some of the funds raised will help buy Christmas presents for teenagers, which is something the Lions didn’t always have the money to include.
Quickly, she was able to recruit other knitters and crocheters to help. At the final count, 31 ladies gave their time and energy throughout the year. All told, they made 350 pairs of mittens along with a number of other knitted and crocheted items to keep people warm during the winter months.
“Some of these ladies gave 20-30 pairs of mittens. It gives them a purpose to knit. A lot of them are seniors, their children and grandchildren are grown and they don’t have anyone to knit for.”
At a meet-and-chat at the Newburgh community hall in late October, 13 of those women were able to gather to see the items. They brought with them the final 96 products to either include in the baskets or sell to raise money.
Mayhew said two Lions attended a two-day craft show recently at the Strathcona Paper Centre where they were able to sell $694 worth of items ranging from $5-10. Following the sale, there were still enough mittens and other items to place in the Christmas baskets and to donate to local schools. That money was coupled with proceeds from Mayhew’s sales of wool, mittens, and other items throughout the year.
“This was a great success and I thank all involved for making my dream come true,” Mayhew said.
The campaign will continue in 2018. Mayhew is seeking donations of wool and looking for knitters and crocheters interested in taking part. She said a lot of the money she was able to raise this year came from the sale of extra materials. For more information about the project, please call her at 613-379-9906.