By Daisy Au, Seniors Club Coordinator
This Lunar New Year, a group of MOSAIC seniors are teaming up to support the Chinese Community Policing Centre (CCPC) in providing hats, scarves and warm clothing for those in need in Chinatown and the Downtown Eastside.
Twenty seniors from MOSAIC’s Seniors Knitting Circle, the Persian Seniors Group, and the South Asian Seniors Group have been working hard to deliver batches of warm, knitted clothing to those who are low-income or homeless.
Now in its second year, the CCPC project titled ‘We Need Yarn, We Knit Warm’ involves MOSAIC and other partners who are also part of the Chinese Community Response Network. It began as a way to deliver safety kits for homeless individuals, and grew to include warm clothing, rain jackets, socks and more.
For immigrant seniors, many of whom have been isolated due to the pandemic, participating in the project is an important way to connect with others and give back to their community. Yu Xiuqian, a senior in the Knitting Circle, tells me that since they cannot meet in person during the pandemic knitting scarves and hats at home for the homeless and people in need is a great way to help out. Yu says, “I think it is the best and happiest thing for us elderly people to do to offer love to society and send warmth to disadvantaged groups!”
The project has even become multi-generational. Sharvin Baghaee, who is part of the Persian Seniors group, told me that when her granddaughter found out about the project, she wanted to help and started learning how to knit. Sharvin says, “our children are beautiful mirrors, reflecting our passion and dedication to society through their lives. It’s very inspiring to see my granddaughter’s commitment to kindness and I’m very proud of her.”
The knitting began before the winter break, with seniors from the Knitting Circle making over 70 hats and scarves. Once more MOSAIC seniors joined from other groups, 142 items were made in total for this meaningful project. Some seniors even donated their own red yarn, a symbolic colour for Lunar New Year.
Two batches of knitted items have already been delivered by the CCPC to shelters, including the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, and the final batch will be delivered as a special gift for Lunar New Year.
Happy Lunar New Year to all who are celebrating this occasion, and a huge thank you to our seniors who give so much to their communities!