Knitting drive donates locally

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Helping to knit and crochet more than 367 items to donate to local organizations for community distribution to those in need are from left to right, Shirley Zruna, co-ordinator of the knitting drive; Dave Turnbull; Bertha Farrelly; Janet Martin; Joan Martin; and Florence Crowder Kelley. Not pictured are knitters Liz Boucher, Kyla Hayward and Nettie DeMaat.

It started with an idea in February to collect mitts, hats and gloves for those in need; less than a year later, drive co-ordinators Dave and Kim Turnbull have collected approximately 367 items – the majority handmade by local knitters.

Resident manager of Grandview Apartments on Grand Avenue East with his wife Kim, Dave decided he wanted to do something for the community around Christmas, while getting others involved at the same time.

“He said, ‘Why don’t we do a drive and see if we can meet a goal of 500?’ I thought that was a lot, but before we knew, it we had donations of wool,” said Kim.

Word soon spread within their apartment building and into the community where a handful of determined individuals began knitting and crocheting.

So committed were the group that one particular knitter in her 90s kept working throughout her hospital stay.

Reaching out on Facebook’s Marketplace for materials, the Turnbulls were blown away by the kindness of those willing to donate yarn or offer deep discounts once they learned what they were trying to accomplish.

“It was so nice. It just shows how generous people can be when they want to give,” said Kim.

Now with the items ready to go to local organizations to be distributed to those in need, participants and the Turnbulls are already saying they are on board for next year.

“The biggest needs we have are for donations of wool and yarn, preferably from smoke-free homes,” said Kim.

Interested in learning how to knit, Dave wants to host a class next year at least once a month in the apartment building to help those who may not know and want to contribute.

“I’ll show you the first item I make,” said Dave.

“It may look like this though,” he added as he laughed, making a triangle shape with his hands.

For more information on how to get involved or to donate yarn, call 226-229-0970.

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