Quilts comfort from more than cold

Quilters needed to join effort to give comfort to cancer patients

Stephanie Szymczak shows off one of the comfy quilts she made for cancer patients.

Winter isn’t the only thing that makes people shiver. Cancer treatments can do that, too.

Stephanie Szymczak knows this fact and she wants to do something about it.

To this end, the Parksville resident is organizing a local chapter of Victoria Quilts Canada, a non-profit group that makes comfy quilts for people going through the rigors of chemotherapy.

Victoria Quilts Canada was started with just two members in 2000 and now has more than 65 quilters producing handmade quilts in chapters across the country.

“We are part of a national, non-profit charitable organization with headquarters in Ottawa and independent branches in cities and towns across Canada,” she said. “It is run by volunteers with no paid staff and the quilts are a gift. No cost is ever passed on to the quilt recipient or to the person who requests the quilt.”

Szymczak said the process is as simple as it is rewarding.

“Someone who needs a quilt phones the group and the groups make quilt and mail it off to them,” she said. “Even mailing costs are covered.”

As her group gets started,  Szymczak said they are looking for materials for the quilts, including cotton batting, and flannel in any colour, along with colourful material to make the front.

“These quilts used to be just for women, but we’re making them for men now, too, so we need some darker materials as well, because not too many men would like a pink quilt,” she said.

Because the group has charitable status, any donation worth over $10 is eligible for a tax receipt.

For more information, contact Szymczak at 250-248-0110 or e-mail her at stephanieszymczak@shaw.ca.


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