A group of 49 volunteers has made an immense difference to front-line health workers throughout Bruce and Grey counties and, on Friday June 19th, many of the group met each other for the first time while safe-distancing on Southampton Beach.
In all of the region’s 11 hospitals, 15 nursing homes, retirement homes, medical and dental clinics, staff are now wearing colourful, 100 per cent cotton, hand-made surgical scrub caps after the group cut, sewed and personally delivered well over 3,000 caps, and the demand continues to grow.
Under the leadership of Rev. Darlyne Rath of Southampton and Brenda Legris-Gainfort of Guelph, volunteers came from the community, quilters’ guilds and woodworkers (who made buttons).
“This is an example of what people can do during scary and difficult times in our world,” says Rev. Rather. “During WWII, many people knit socks for the soldiers, and in 2020 our team made scrub caps to help protect health workers from the COVID-19 virus.”
All the fabric was donated, to the point that ‘stashes’ of 100 per cent cotton among the volunteers and guilds has now been depleted.
“We are now hoping to acquire some small grants from organizations, companies, service clubs or hospital foundations in order to prudently purchase material,” says Legris-Gainfort.
“We would so appreciate some help with this,” adds Rath. “We do not need thousands of dollars. For instance, our local Southampton Rotary donated $150 which helped us purchase buttons. Becker Shoes of Port Elgin provided us with the boxes to transport the caps and many in the community donated 100% washed cotton and buttons and dropped off their donations at my home. This has been an exhausting project that was done out of a labour of love – to keep our front-line workers safe. However, none of us has any material left. We need to buy 100% cotton fabric now. We are simply out.”
In addition, the group is now looking at the possibility of expanding to Huron County to help workers there, and beyond. “The demand is definitely there as the caps help protect our health workers, particularly during this COVID-19 time.”
Rath says that they are also looking at the possibility that the caps could be purchased by health workers as a fundraiser for their hospitals. “We never realized the domino affect that this would create! We are being told that health workers are going to continue to wear them – even if the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end with a vaccine.”
Volunteers who Participated
Linda Mason, Renee Pageau, Donna Legge, Elise Lepine, Barba Cherrie, Teresa Klapwyk, Marg McLeod, Mary Gail Race, Gail Allen, Bonnie Hobbs, Barb Thomson, Cheryl Meikle, Jean Morrison, Gale Douglass, Dale Sherwood, Audrey Trelford, Reta Sproule, Gloria Currie, Anne Roberts, Gillian Gayfer, Joanne Hall, Mary McCallum, Mary Gunson, Melinda Myette, Bonnie Hastings, Cathie Berry, Shelaugh Tague, Jan Sinclair, Beth Hotchkiss, Jane Phillips, Jack Lesley, Judy Lesley, Marty Church, Pat Dobec, Maureen Harding, Julia McGregor, Linda Phaneuf, Alice Kain, Sheila Busch, Susan MacDonald, Mary Ann Bousquet, Karen Watchorn, Verena Urshler, Brenda Legris-Gainfort, Duncan McCallum, Paul Leader, Dave Mason, Bob Hastings, Lionel Desjardins, Merle Rath, Darlyne Rath.
For larger views, CLICK on Images
If you can help, contact Rev. Rath at … rath65@bmts.