June Young with a few of the tuques she crocheted for Surrey RCMP to distribute to the homeless. (Contributed photo)

White Rock senior crafts 200 toques for Surrey’s homeless

June Young’s crochet donations began through volunteering with OWL Rehabilitation Society

June Young readily admits two things: she’s a people person and, she can’t just sit still.

These attributes have served the White Rock senior well over the years – and at least two organizations that depend on volunteers have also benefited.

This week, Surrey Mounties were excited to share news of crocheted toques that were made and donated by Young for officers to distribute to the city’s homeless through the cold snap that walloped the Lower Mainland.

The colourful hats, Young said, are what she whips up when she’s watching television, and while she’s been making them for the homeless for about three years now, the publicity her effort received this week was unexpected.

“I never thought anyone would get excited about my hats,” Young said Wednesday, after being showcased on TV news the evening before. “It’s just something I do to keep me busy.

“I’m very happy that they’ve been so well-received.”

Young, 75, has been volunteering locally since moving back to B.C. with her husband Gerald 15 years ago.

The couple returned to the West Coast after spending three years in Geneva and 10 in Paris – among 16 moves over the years – due to Gerald’s work in the banking industry, Young said.

Born in Scotland, Young grew up in Liverpool and learned to knit from her mother when she was just seven years old (many years later, after developing arthritis, she taught herself to crochet). She emigrated to B.C. in 1966, following her parents, who had settled in Kelowna one year prior. Turns out it was a particularly good decision, as Kelowna is where Young and her husband met. The couple have now been married 52 years.

“And we still like other and we still love each other,” Young said.

Young said she discovered the RCMP’s need for volunteers during a visit to Semiahmoo Library shortly after arriving in White Rock. The 1815 152 St. building is also home to Surrey RCMP’s District 5 office.

“I was looking for something to do and went to the library. When I came out, I saw this sign (about the need for community policing volunteers),” she said

In the years that followed, Young routinely spent at least eight hours a week at the District 5 office, lending a hand wherever needed – from helping those who came to the front counter and typing up Speed Watch letters, to sharing information on the various programs at community events.

“It was like a family,” Young said, of the relationships that naturally developed through volunteering with the largely the same group of people.

“We were just like a very well-knit family – we all liked each other and we had a lot of fun. I always worked with the same people, we became very good friends.”

While her hours with the RCMP have lessened in recent years, Young’s enthusiasm for volunteering remains strong.

Now, she spends even more time at OWL Rehabilitation Society, a non-profit that rescues, rehabilitates and releases injured and orphaned raptors. Young became involved eight years ago, and said it’s become a passion.

It’s also where her hats-for-homeless efforts took root, after a fellow volunteer offered her his late wife’s wool. Little did she know the cache would fill eight garbage bags.

“I didn’t know what to do with it,” she said. “I started making hats for the OWL gift shop.”

After discovering she had colours that didn’t work for children’s toques, Young began crocheting hats for the homeless.

She can make up to two in a night, and said the task is so “very, very easy,” she doesn’t need a pattern, or even to look at what she’s doing.

“It’s good for my hands, too,” she noted.

Last year, Young gave close to 100 toques to the Surrey RCMP’s winter clothing drive.

This year’s contribution has doubled, following the discovery of an additional basket of the hats that Young had forgotten she’d made and put away.

Knowing they’re adding a little warmth to those in the community who need it most is rewarding, she said.

“It’s just a really nice feeling to know that they appreciate it, and that I am doing a little bit of good. It’s kind of nice that you can do something, even if it’s only something small.”

Young said she would welcome donations of wool from anyone who finds themselves with extra on their hands.

She may be reached by email, at bjuneyoung@shaw.ca



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Volunteering at OWL is also a passion of White Rock’s June Young. The senior is a bird handler and carer at the rehabilitation centre. (Contributed photo)

Just Posted

Surrey shootings ends city’s hiatus from violence since outset of pandemic

So far this year there have been 24 shootings in Surrey. There were 45 in 2019

South Surrey banner drop marks Global Day of Action

Fridays for Future effort targeted four city overpasses

Delta police launch drone program

Drones can fly day or night in a variety of weather to help Delta police and firefighters

UPDATE: NDP asks Elections BC to investigate Liberal voter fraud allegations in Surrey-Fleetwood

Liberal MLA candidate for Surrey-Fleetwood Garry Thind issued a written statement Wednesday afternoon

OUR VIEW: Surrey mask scraps can be avoided

You know, be considerate. Now, isn’t that a novel idea?

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

First Nations Health Authority chief medical officer concerned with rising COVID-19 cases

“There’s still so much we don’t know and we’re learning everyday about this particular virus.”

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

B.C. VOTES 2020: Businesses now owe $6 billion in deferred tax payments

COVID-19 relief from remittance to province ends with September

Most Read