Warm wel­come for Syr­ian refugees

Lo­cal craft drive seeks to wel­come new­com­ers to Canada

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY MARK SQUIBB ed­i­tor@CBN­com­pass.ca

Lo­cal crafter Lau­rie Le­Grow was moved by the plight of Syr­ian refugees com­ing to Canada — so much so that she de­cided to kick­start a cam­paign to help find the new­com­ers warm clothes to east the ad­just­ment to Cana­dian win­ters. They’ll also come with spe­cial tags that will be a bit smaller than this over­sized one held by Mae El­iz­a­beth.

There has been a lot of talk re­cently about how Cana­di­ans ought to re­spond to the Syr­ian refugee cri­sis.

Lau­rie Le­Grow has re­sponded by pick­ing up her knit­ting nee­dles.

“I had read an ar­ti­cle writ­ten about a lady in Que­bec, whose name is Danielle, and she started this ini­tia­tive called 25,000 Toques, the name based on the num­ber of refugees Canada has com­mit­ted to ac­cept­ing,” ex­plained Le­Grow, “and I was think­ing it was a fan­tas­tic idea.”

And so Le­grow, founder of Some Good Mar­ket, or­ga­nized a project she dubbed the Some Warm Wel­come, whose pur­pose is to wel­come Syr­ian refugees by pro­vid­ing them with warm, hand-knit or cro­chet hats, scarves, gloves, vamps, and socks.

She is invit­ing all lo­cal knit­ters and cro­cheters to take up their nee­dles and as­sist her in the ef­fort.

“It’s taken off like wild­fire,” said Le­Grow. “I have got­ten mes­sages from Aus­tralia, B.C., Wash­ing­ton State, and from all over the prov­ince, from peo­ple ask­ing what they can make, where can they send it, how we get it to you, what sizes do you need — ev­ery­thing. It’s great.”

At­tached to each knit­ted item will be a hand­crafted tag read­ing in English, French and Ara­bic, ‘Wel­come to Canada.’ Donors may per­son­al­ize the tag sub­mit­ted with their item if they wish to do so.

Do­na­tions can be dropped off at any Some Good Mar­ket, Cast On Cast Off in St. John’s, the Bay Robert’s Vis­i­tor In­for­ma­tion Pav­il­ion, any New­found­land and Labrador pub­lic li­brary, or Lau­rie’s home in Makin­sons. All do­na­tions will be de­liv­ered to the As­so­ci­a­tion for New Cana­di­ans, who in turn will dis­trib­ute the items to refugees as they ar­rive.

“If all th­ese peo­ple are com­ing and they don’t have caps and mitts and things, well, as a car­ing com­mu­nity, we’ll do our best to help out in any way that we can,” said Lois Dawe, Bay Robert’s tourism of­fi­cer, who will be re­ceiv­ing do­na­tions at the Bay Robert’s In­for­ma­tion Pav­il­ion.

“I don’t knit my­self,” she con­tin­ued, “but I can col­lect things peo­ple do knit.”

“It felt like the right thing to do,” said Jewel Cousens, a New­found­land and Labrador Col­lec­tions li­brar­ian. “If you keep the heads warm and you keep the hands warm, you keep the hearts warm.”

Le­Grow has seen some neg­a­tive feed­back to the project, but she chooses to re­main fo­cused on the pos­i­tive.

“I try to stay away from the neg­a­tive.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on the Some Warm Wel­come, in­clud­ing drop site ad­dresses, please visit the Some Good Mar­ket blog, or, the Some Warm Wel­come Face­book page.

UB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Lau­rie Le­Grow, founder of the Some Warm Wel­come, proudly holds a life-sized replica of the ‘Wel­come To Canada’ tag at­tached to each ar­ti­cle of cloth­ing do­nated.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Donors have the op­tion write per­sonal mes­sages on their tags.

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