To celebrate seniors week we will be featuring our residents in various ways. Today, we want to focus on how our residents give back give back to the community by highlighting one of the many social groups here at Elim Village. The following was written by Independent living resident Theresa B.
On the first Thursday evening of each month from 7:30 – 9:00, you will hear the subdued voices of about 13 women intermingled with the clicking sounds of knitting needles. The clicking stops only for tea break before starting up again on the 2nd floor in the Bowron. Some of these women have been gathering together at Elim Village Fleetwood since 2001.
While reminiscing, we learned that many have been knitting since they were seven. Some were taught at home, some at school; one was told by her mother that she couldn’t even go to school until she learned to knit! Others had to knit after school before going out to play and during the war a lot of knitting took place in the evenings due to curfews; plus there was no TV. One resident remembers the first thing she was taught to knit; two small squares which were fastened with a button. These were used to clean the steel nib from ink pens after being dipped into an ink well and kept ink from landing on their writing paper. Over time, these young girls would perfect their skills and the small squares grew into sweaters, blankets and more.
Recently, hundreds of the toques they have knitted have been donated to Flying Angel and The Lighthouse; two organizations that offer support services to sailors arriving at Vancouver’s port. They knit wash cloths, toques and blankets which are given to Doctors Without Borders and local teenage mothers also receive the fruits of their labours. One of the ladies focuses on baby items which make their way to Zambia; another knits baby wipes and dish cloths for hospitals in Uganda and Kenya. Two others knit items which they sell at Elim’s Craft Sale and donate the proceeds to other organizations like Bethesda and Operation Smile. The fruits of their labors truly bless others and the time spent together is also very satisfying. Creativity is expressed by the items they choose to knit and the beautiful colors they put together.