Kennedy Seniors Centre knitters help new Delta families in need

dfklsanlkcn dasjkcbawjklsdb ajkls cdaesdasvasdvasveaveqrvfearv

Healthiest Babies Possible program manager Jen Mantyka (far left) and program assistant Jackie King (far right) receive donated hand-made layettes from Kennedy Seniors Recreation Centre knitters (left to right) Lil Jones

Eleven new and vulnerable families in Delta, Surrey and White Rock will be receiving hand-knitted layettes (sets of clothing, toilet articles and bedclothes for newborn children) thanks to knitters from the Kennedy Seniors Recreation Centre.

Lil Jones, Colleen Hopkins and Mary Hillen started knitting baby sweaters and blankets last Christmas after learning about the need for donated newborn clothing in the Lower Mainland.

The idea came indirectly from the group’s work on another charitable project: knitting purple baby hats to raise awareness of newborns’ “purple crying period” and to support shaken baby syndrome prevention.

Kennedy Seniors Centre member Lil Jones puts together out one of the layettes she and other Kennedy knitters made for local mothers in need.

Kennedy Seniors Centre member Lil Jones puts together out one of the layettes she and other Kennedy knitters made for local mothers in need. Image credit: Kathryn Wu

“This all started when the ladies from [BC] Children’s Hospital came to pick up a batch of hats,” Jones said. “One of the nurses said that when she gave a little purple hat to a new mom, the mom said that was the only thing that she had for the baby.”

Each layette comes with a baby sleeper, a blanket, a sweater set and accessories such as hats and bibs. Money for materials like yarn and buttons came entirely from donations collected by Jones.

The layettes will be distributed to vulnerable families through Healthiest Babies Possible, a pregnancy outreach program provided by Options Community Services. Jen Mantyka, program manager for Healthiest Babies Possible, said the program has 300 participants in Delta, Surrey and White Rock.

“There’s several of the families we support who don’t have any other family, any friends,” said Mantyka. “They’re not getting any gifts to help them out and they’re struggling just to make ends meet. And just being able to have a small gift or a warm blanket for the baby is amazing.”

Kennedy Seniors Centre knitter Mary Hillen shows one of the baby sweaters she made for local mothers in need.Kennedy Seniors Centre knitter Mary Hillen shows one of the baby sweaters she made for local mothers in need. Image credit: Kathryn Wu

Healthiest Babies Possible provides health education and support – including home visits and weekly groups – for new and expecting families. The program also aims to connect participants to other social services, such as B.C. Housing.

“I think with the layettes, for people, they know that someone has put their time into it. It’s something special to put on their brand new baby,” said Mantyka. “That’s something they’re going to keep forever. As a mom, those are the things that I keep from when my boys were babies.”

Hillen, a volunteer knitter and project coordinator, said the timeline for a completed sweater varies, depending on her arthritis.

“It used to be a week, but now it’s about two weeks.” said Hillen.

“Most people don’t get homemade stuff anymore,” she added. “Homemade lasts forever.”

Kennedy Seniors Centre knitter Colleen Hopkins knits one of the purple baby hats that helped inspire the layettes project.Kennedy Seniors Centre knitter Colleen Hopkins knits one of the purple baby hats that helped inspire the layettes project. Image credit: Kathryn Wu

Hopkins, another volunteer knitter, explained that this knitting initiative is not the first for the Kennedy Seniors Recreation Centre.

“We do the purple hat campaign, we do the layettes, there’s also the group that does the scarves and hats and lap rugs for Deltassist. We collect Campbell’s Soup labels for schools and pop tabs for the cancer society,” said Hopkins.

“We’re just glad that we can do something to help someone else – pay it forward, as they say,” added Jones.

 

Just Posted

Woman found dead in Okanagan Lake identified as Surrey resident

Police ‘do not believe criminality was involved’ in the death of 29-year-old Caitlin Bradley

COLUMN: Delta residents and businesses can help make a difference

Delta police chief Neil Dubord writes about the power of crowd-sourcing

North Delta crime beat, week of April 7

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

Students run blood, stem cell donor drive at Surrey’s Vaisakhi Parade

Volunteer youth group One Blood for Life aims to create a more ethnically diverse stem cell registry

Easter bombings a response to New Zealand attacks, says Sri Lanka minister

The Islamic State group asserted it was responsible for the nine bombings

New commemorative loonie marking ‘progress’ for LGBTQ2 people to be unveiled today

But advocates say it mistakenly suggests equality has been achieved largely as a result of government actions

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Anti-SOGI activist slams ban on B.C. dad speaking out about transgender son’s case

A judge has told the father to stop publicly objecting to his son’s gender

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Victims injured in Lower Mainland deck collapse ranged from 15 to 83 years old

Victim Services staff have reached out to those hurt and their families

‘Ghost restaurants’ cooked up by Joseph Richard Group to meet demand of delivered food

The new Meal Ticket Brands venture aims to ‘disrupt’ the local restaurant industry

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Torched SUV linked to Vancouver’s fourth homicide

Manoj Kumar, 30, was found dead from gunshot wounds in the Kitsilano neighbourhood

Most Read