June 14th, 2024

Fundraiser knits support for patient care

By Ry Clarke - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on December 8, 2022.

Herald photo by Ry Clarke People browse the festive wares for sale during the Craft Club's fundraising sale Wednesday at the Chinook Regional Hospital.

Chinook Regional Hospital welcomed back the Craft Club to its atrium Wednesday morning, raising funds for the Friends of Chinook Regional Hospital.

The volunteer group has been knitting and crafting for over 30 years. Taking a break from Chinook due to the COVID pandemic and health restrictions, the craft fair was last held in 2019.

“The Craft Club has been going on for 30 plus years, but since COVID we were not allowed to have a sale for three years now. We are very excited today about being able to have a sale. They are all handmade items, and the money that we make all goes back to support patient care in the hospital,” said Nettie Hildebrand, who helps manage the Craft Club. “It is very important to us, we have waited for this for three years through COVID. We make a lot of funds through the sale, some of these items have been around for three years because we had prepared for a sale and then couldn’t.”

Raising funds and spirits, Hildebrand and her crew of knitting elves help add a splash of wholesomeness for those staying in the hospital.

“We make napkins for all the statutory holidays, and hard pillows for people in surgery and cardiac patients, when they have to start their breathing exercises. It’s a comfort pillow they can hold against their chest,” said Hildebrand. “We always hope that it will make somebody’s day a bit brighter and warmer.”

Adding a homey touch to the hospital, the craft fair is an important fundraiser for the group.

“This brings life back to the hospital, the volunteers they bring vitality and life back to the hospital and we are so excited to have the craft sale and our volunteers come in and support the hospital,” said Colin Zieber, senior operating officer with AHS. “Not only do they raise a tremendous amount of money ($69,000 from the sale and $102,000 through gift shop sales, since starting), but they also bring vitality and life.”

Seeing spirits raised through holiday cheer, the event helps bring funds back into the hospital during the festive season.

“Christmas season can be joyous for some, but can be really challenging for others. This brings some extra life back to the hospital,” said Zieber.

The craft sale is ongoing again today at the CRH atrium from 9-5 p.m.

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