Bloor West Villager
On one of the coldest days in February, a group of Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Catholic Secondary School students paid a visit to the kids and families staying at Ronald McDonald House to bring some warm wishes in the way of knitted hats and scarves.
The group of high school students, in grades 9 to 12, comprised the 12-member strong knitting club, which had created over the past month as many as 35 hats and scarves.
“I asked the kids, ‘where do you want to donate them?’ Someone suggested Sick Kids hospital, but they’re not able to accept items coming into the hospital because of germs,” said educational assistant and knitting club co-ordinator Flora Venezia.
The hospital, instead, suggested the club donate to Ronald McDonald House Charities. Ronald McDonald Houses provide a home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill children who are staying at a nearby hospital. Ronald McDonald House has on-hand qualified staff and volunteers who take care of the day-to-day responsibilities of running a home – so families don’t have to worry about them. They have programs that offer everything from education to meditation.
Ronald McDonald House on McCaul Street, near College Street and University Avenue, was more than happy to receive the knitted gifts, said Venezia. The club has only been meeting since the first of the month. It was Venezia who came up with the idea after being laid up with a broken ankle. After months of being cooped up, she called a friend for a reprieve.
“She said, ‘Don’t kill anyone,’ I’ll be right over,’” recalled Venezia with a laugh.
She brought with her knitting looms and showed Venezia how to knit without using needles. That visit was the catalyst for the school’s knitting club, which has become a big hit.
“They’re busy little beavers,” said Venezia.
The students say knitting is “relaxing.”
It takes just a couple of hours to complete one hat, they said.
“Once you get the hang of it, it gets addictive,” said one member.
It’s a great way to create gifts for people, said another.
The student council can take credit for donating $200 towards purchasing the wool, which it raised through various fundraisers including school dances.