Lissa Alexander photo Joyce Morrison of Patchwork Quilt Creations and Paulette Harcourt, SOS Assistant Executive Director, stand with two of the quilts donated by Morrison and her group for the SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program.

Groups making Christmas warm with needlework

Update: SOS Caring for Community at Christmas

It’s getting cold outside, but some residents are quietly working to make it warm for others this Christmas.

The Gardens Knitting and Craft Group is one of the groups donating a number of handmade items to the SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program. Members have been knitting and crocheting blankets, scarves, toques, headbands, shawls and other items that will go into the SOS Toy Shop, and be given away to residents in-need.

Pearl Occleston is a volunteer at The Gardens and she initiated the group about four years ago. She agrees that knitting is a dying art and a great skill to have. She says the group started with eight people and now there are 11 residents who take part. The wool they use has been donated by other residents who are unable to knit anymore, she said.

The group sells their wares twice a year, and donate most of the proceeds to local charities. They have also given two large donations of handmade items to SOS to give to clients.

The members all really enjoy doing it, Occleston said, and many of them knit and crochet beyond their weekly meeting times.

The SOS Caring for Community at Christmas program provides gifts for children and youth, so they may find something special under their tree, and grocery store gift cards to families and individuals, to choose the food that is important to them over the holidays.

Patchwork Quilt Creations is another group that is warming the hearts and laps of local residents this Christmas. Joyce Morrison recently stopped by the SOS Community Services Centre to drop off bags of handmade quilts. The group uses donated fabrics to create beautiful, warm quilts, some with themes for babies and children, and others that anyone would enjoy. Morrison said her group loves the creative process of patching the quilts together, and she hopes the recipients really like them.

“I hope it brings them warmth and comfort and they feel that someone in the world cares.”

SOS is still gratefully accepting new, unwrapped gifts for its Toy Shop, and monetary donations to help reach its goal of $110,000, xthe Christmas program.

Donate online,, by phone 250-248-2093 or in person at the SOS Community Services Centre in Parksville during office hours, 245 West Hirst Avenue.

— By Lissa Alexander

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