Knitting to Make a Difference

By Lynda Chessman, Hooks and Needles Coordinator
Cambridge Street Baptist Church, Lindsay Ontario

In 2008, a dream was born. About 20 women from Beach United Church and surrounding community responded to a call to knit vests for shivering children.

In June 2016, a request to continue with this project was given to Mission’s Committee of Cambridge Street Baptist Church. Lynda Chessman acknowledged her interest to co-ordinate a group of knitters in the City of Kawartha Lakes. What started with 5 knitters has grown and multiplied to 368 knitters in one year.

The group was named Hooks and Needles, and meets once a month. We operate by receiving donations of wool and giving each member the required amount needed to knit, beanies, blankets and pneumonia vests. The vision of making a difference is catching on!

Satellite groups have been started in the following communities:

  • Lakefield at the Baptist Church
  • Peterborough at St. John the Baptist Church
  • Northminster United Church in Peterborough
  • Trinity United Church in Bobcaygeon
  • Cambray United Church in Cambray

We delivered 2,486 pneumonia vests and 656 baby blankets for a total of 3,142 items to Canadian Food for Children warehouse that is owned and operated by Dr. Simone. He pays for all the items to be shipped in containers to 22 impoverished countries. Also, over 2,498 beanies have been delivered by a medical team to Ghana.  As if that isn’t enough, 200 vests, 100 blankets and 100 beanies have been sent to the First Nations Moosenee Reserve. That’s over 6000 items in one year!

We are all blessed to receive prayers, and gifts of these donations which has helped to ease unimaginable suffering and given hope, love and life to countless little ones. This is the most humbling experience I have ever had. Praise God for where we are and how we cover so many children.

10 thoughts on “Knitting to Make a Difference”

  1. Someone told me that the items we were knitting were actually being sold in the countries destination. Can you tell me is this is true?

    1. Hello Carolyn.

      We are unfortunately unable to answer your question. I suggest you get in touch with the organization that you partnered with and ask them about how they ensure transparency in their delivery chain. Any charitable organization should be able to provide you with clear answers on what they do with your gifts—financial or in-kind.

      I hope that is helpful!
      Jacqueline Solomon
      Communications Associate

  2. I have a lot of wool I would like to donate but I would like the finished product to go to local needy children and seniors. From what I can see, most of your stuff goes out of the country and I feel we should take care of our own. Do you know of anywhere local that knits gloves, mitts, hats and blankets for children and seniors in our community?

    1. Hello Warren.

      I would suggest that you get in touch with your local hospital. Sometimes there are groups that knit hats for newborns. They might also give you some ideas about others you could connect with.

      Beyond that, I would encourage you to reach out to Cambridge Street Baptist Church. They may also be able to give you some ideas.

      I hope that helps,


    1. Hello Charles!

      I’d suggest that you contact the church that is closest to you directly. While things may have changed since this article was written, these are the churches involved:

    2. Cambridge Street Baptist Church, Lindsay
    3. Lakefield Baptist Church
    4. St. John the Baptist Church, Peterborough
    5. Northminster United Church, Peterborough
    6. Trinity United Church, Bobcaygeon
    7. Cambray United Church, Cambray
    8. I hope that’s helpful!

  3. I love to knit and crochet, but have been completely unable to find any groups or even others who do! I am in Sarnia Ontario do you know of any here where I could put my skills to good use?

    1. Hello Terry. I’m afraid I don’t know of any specifically in the Sarnia area, but you might try connecting with a local hospital. Sometimes there are knitting groups that make hats for newborns, and perhaps some people there might be able to connect you with a local group.

      I hope that helps!

      1. i live in the Sudbury area, and the Food Banks, Lion Clubs, are always looking for hats and mitts to give out at Christmas. The Cancer Hospital is always looking for people to knit squares for blankets, the patients or volunteers sew them together, they also accept donations of yarn. Guardian Angels if they still exist were for premi and regular hats for newborns along with sweaters and blankets they were collected and sent to hospitals across Canada.. After about 300 hats, booties, mitts, I started doing them for the local hospital they really appreciated them. I hope this helps you out. Now i am knitting and bring it to the Clinic in our town and they give them out to those who need them and to the Christmas food Basket. Thank you for all you do also to the team at CBOQ you are amazing in the wealth of knowledge that is there . Blessings and Peace

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