Last Thursday I became a part of a beautiful story. If you want to feel warm and fuzzy, grab a coffee, sit down, and read. This is a story about love, connection, beautiful people, children, and a ball of yarn.
John and Mary (not their real names as they wish to be anonymous) are cottagers that have been supporters of the food bank for 3 years. Their concern is that Muskoka children be warm in the winter months. They value greatly the dignity of the individual and feel strongly that one way to build up the self esteem of children is by giving them good quality brand new winter coats, boots, hats, gloves and scarves. They go around in the spring on their own initiative and take advantage of the winter clearance sales. The first year they brought a few items, last year 20-30 coats and boots. Well, last Thursday they showed up with an SUV packed to the gills with items for Muskoka’s kids!
That is wonderful in itself but the story gets better. Last year John and Mary went around to church Christmas bazaars looking for items for their ministry. They stopped at 1 table of hand knitting and the lady asked them which toque they would like to purchase. Mary, with a grin on her face, said she would like to buy all of them. When the lady recovered she asked why and Mary explained that she wanted to help economically disadvantaged children in Muskoka. The bazaar lady thought for a moment and then explained that she and a friend were both retired with time on their hands. They both love to knit but their difficulty is that they have limited financial resources themselves with which to buy the wool. Resourceful Mary said that she would supply them with wool if they would knit for the children. A partnership was formed.
But the story gets better still! Last summer Mary was visiting in Port Carling at a local gift store. She and the proprietor were having a heart to heart conversation as they had both lost their mother over the previous winter. Somehow the conversation got around to knitting and the story of the 2 retired ladies down south that were knitting for the food bank but did not have enough wool. The proprietor began to tear up. Mary asked her what was the matter and she pulled out a huge ball of wool from under her desk in the gift shop. She explained that this ball of wool was her mother’s and she didn’t have the heart to throw it out but did not know what to do with it. She gave it to Mary and asked her to give it to the 2 knitters to knit items for the food bank. Needless to say the knitters were deeply moved by learning the origin of this ball of yarn.
They spent last winter turning the ball of yarn into toques, mitts, and scarves which were brought up on Thursday night to the food bank. This is quite a yarn of a tale! We are now knitted together through love for kids, desire to encourage respect and dignity, desire for meaning and purpose of some elderly ladies, sharing of sorrow, and the birthing of new life and hope in the hearts of Muskoka children as they receive their brand new winter coats, boots and hand knit woollies. God is GOOD!