January 18th, 2021

A pattern of kindness

By Bobinec, Greg on March 2, 2020.

Herald photo by Greg Bobinec
Tami Chechotko, a retired home economics teacher from Sparwood, B.C., helps sew a bundle of heart-shaped pillows for local organizations throughout Lethbridge during the Stitch it Forward Society of Lethbridges first 9-Hour Stitch-A-Thon, Saturday morning at Centre Village Mall. @GBobinecHerald

Greg Bobinec

Lethbridge Herald


The Stitch It Forward Society of Lethbridge joined with other community members to create dozens of handmade projects for organizations across the province on the weekend.

The first ever 9-Hour Stitch A Thon took place in Centre Village Mall on Saturday, where dozens of sewers, knitters, quilters and crocheters buckled down to make dozens of items to give to different hospitals and other organizations in need.

“We do work projects throughout the year, so we have recruited a bunch of volunteers, so heart-sense pads, pillows, blankets and a whole bunch of projects like that for the community,” says Diane Herrick, founder and board president of Stitch It Forward Society of Lethbridge.

“The items are going to a bunch of different groups such as Canadian Mental Health, and Southern Alberta Self Help Association are going to be getting the blankets, the Foothills Hospital in Calgary are getting the heart-shaped pillows, the Edmonton Stollery Children’s Hospital are getting the sense cloths, so all across the province.”

The Stitch It Forward Society and the Stitch A Thon was inspired by Herrick’s husband who was hospitalized and given a hand-sewn heart-shaped pillow. After some investigation, she found out it was made by volunteers but they were always running short. With some inspiration and heart, Herrick decided to start the society and gather local stitchers to help out local organizations.

“My husband had a heart attack just over a year ago, and when he was in the hospital he had a by-pass surgery and they gave him one of these hearts,” says Herrick.

“I asked them where they came from and they said that a few volunteers make them but they never had enough, so I thought that I can do that, so I started sewing on my own for a month and thought I should get some other people involved and pretty soon it grew and more organizations needed more stuff so it just expanded and now we have 47 volunteers in our list.”

Throughout the day, dozens of stitchers made their way through dozens of pillows, blankets, cloths, and many other projects. Community members even donated bags of items they have made on their free time to the cause, during the 9-Hour Stitch A Thon. Herrick says the event, along with the society, really brings people together who share the same interest, and says it feels good knowing they are going to a deserving place.

“Today we have about 18 volunteers and more coming throughout the day, so we are going to be getting a lot of projects done,” says Herrick. “It is really nice because we have people as far as Sparwood that have come just for this day, so it gives people the opportunity to meet others who enjoy the same thing.”

Stitch It Forward Society of Lethbridge is always looking for new members to join in on their charitable stitching causes. They are also always looking for non-profits, schools and charities that are looking for handmade stitching. For more information, find them on Facebook, or email at stitchitforward@gmail.com

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