The Busy Fingers knitting club has been left scrambling for wool after a local busi-ness partner decided to no longer collect material for them.
In past years, the 200-member plus club has knitted and crocheted thousands of scarves, mittens, toques and afghans which they then donate to social service organizations and agencies across Ottawa in the weeks leading up to the holiday season.
|Members of the Busy Fingers knitting club meet at Eileen McCaughey’s home the first and third Monday every month. FILE PHOTO
According to its founder, Eileen McCaughey who is 90 years young, the club donated over 3,000 items last year, all of which were made using wool donated by members of the public.
In past years, wool donations could be dropped off at the Aspira Bearbrook Retire-ment Residence in Blackburn Hamlet, which had volunteered to act as a collection point.
McCaughey found out in mid-October that Aspira was no longer interested in collecting wool for the club. She has been scrambling ever since then to find an alternative.
That’s when the Orléans Star stepped in and within a few days, they had found not one but two willing partners – Riverbend Retirement Communities and Symphony Senior Living.
Unfortunately, in the time it has taken to find alternative locations to collect the wool, the club has fallen way behind in both donations and knitted items.
McCaughey says her members have been working on different projects on their own, but not nearly at the pace they need to meet the demand from the organizations they provide items to.
“Everyone is ready to start knitting, we just need the wool,” says McCaughey.
Wool in any amount or colour can be dropped off at either Symphony Senior Living Orléans on Lumberman Way off Orleåns Boulevard, or the Willowbend Retirement Community at the northwest corner of Trim and Innes Roads. The fire station on Charlemagne Blvd. is also accepting wool donations.
Donations can also be made by calling Eileen at 613-841-3641. Arrangements can be made to either drop wool off at her house, or have it picked up by a volunteer.
The vast majority of the items the club knits or crochets are donated to veterans and other seniors, women’s shelters, hospices, and anyone else in need of warmth during Ottawa’s long winters. Last year, the club donated over 100 items to refugee families who were fleeing the war in Ukraine.
The core group of about 20-30 women, meets the first and third Monday of each month in McCaughey’s South Fallingbrook home where they share their love of knitting.
“It’s a way to keep busy and feel like we’re doing something useful,” says McCaughey. “For me personally, it keeps me busy and it makes me feel great. I like to help people. It’s what keeps me going.”