At Chartwell Chatsworth Retirement Residence in Kelowna, BC, giving back to the local community is a philosophy woven into the fabric of the home. Both staff and residents are genuine believers in supporting worthy causes that positively impact the community as whole, and continue to raise thousands of dollars per year through annual fundraisers and Chartwell’s H.O.P.E. (Helping Others for Purposeful Engagement) vocational program.
One organization particularly close to the hearts of residents and staff alike is Inn From the Cold, a non-profit which strives to provide a hot meal and warm place for homeless men and women to sleep on cold winter nights. It’s through the retirement community’s resident knitting club that they support the important initiative: knitters work diligently to craft squares of fabric and sew them together to create beautiful and cozy blankets to help keep recipients warm.
A representative from Inn From the Cold, Jan, recently stopped by Chartwell Chatsworth to provide resident knitters and staff with an update on how their hard work has benefitted those in need in Kelowna. As Lifestyle and Program Manager Sarah Hemmet explains, “She sat down with our knitters to thank them for their continued donations, and shared and interesting observation. Jan said that sometimes her team members find blankets that they have provided to program recipients left behind, either because they’ve become wet or dirty, but never has she found one of Chatsworth’s quilts discarded.”
Perhaps none of the home’s knitted blankets have been left behind because of their intricate and attractive nature, but Sarah muses there may be another reason. “With every blanket, we also enclose a message that they have been made by residents with love,” she says. “I think that makes them even more treasured by recipients.”
Chartwell Chatsworth has already donated 12 large blankets in 2017, as well as a number of toques, slippers and face cloths. Residents know that they aren’t only helping to keep homeless individuals warm, but imparting a message of friendship and empathy. For some individuals, it may even be the first time they’ve received a gift in their life.
“We are truly proud to be giving back to our community in such a meaningful way,” Sarah concludes. “Our residents are passionate and kind people, and they value the purpose involved with helping those in need.”