Friends make mit­tens as fundraiser ini­tia­tive

The Globe and Mail (Ottawa/Quebec Edition) - - REPORT ON BUSINESS WEEKEND - BY PAUL WALDIE

The donors Karen King, Ar­lene Duck­ert, Lau­rie Hardy, Mar­ion Burr, Wilma Ma­her and Shirley Van­der­wie­len

The gift: Cre­at­ing 4Friends Plus The cause: Com­mu­nity Liv­ing, Sar­nia-Lambton

When Karen King and three friends re­tired a few years ago, they started get­ting to­gether to make mit­tens for peo­ple they knew.

“We just en­joyed each other’s com­pany,” Ms. King re­called from her home in Sar­nia, Ont. “There was great ca­ma­raderie.”

The group soon added a cou­ple more friends and it now con­sists of Ms. King, Lau­rie Hardy, Wilma Ma­her, Ar­lene Duck­ert, Mar­ion Burr and Shirley Van­der­wie­len. In 2013, they de­cided to turn their at­ten­tion to­ward rais­ing money for char­ity.

Sev­eral mem­bers of what they dubbed 4Friends Plus had con­nec­tions to Com­mu­nity Liv­ing Sar­nia-Lambton and they soon be­gan sell­ing mit­tens for the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

They don’t knit mit­tens, but buy old sweaters and re­fash­ion them into mitts. One pair can take about an hour to make and sells for $25, with pro­ceeds go­ing to Com­mu­nity Liv­ing, which sup­ports peo­ple with de­vel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ties. So far, they have raised $10,000 which helped the or­ga­ni­za­tion buy a new van. 4Friends Plus is now rais­ing money for a sec­ond van.

Ms. Hardy said the women were over­joyed and over­whelmed when they dis­cov­ered their fundrais­ing helped buy the van. “Who would have thought mit­tens could do this,” she said.

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