A non-profit organization established in 1998, Blankets for Canada helps create blankets for Canadians who need warmth. But the material it uses to knit those blankets comes entirely through donations.
As head of the Birch Hills chapter, Lillian Wudrich relies on wool donations from the surrounding region.
“I get wool from Lanigan, Strasbourg, Nipawin, Tisdale,” Wudrich said. “They usually drop it off at Rural Roots and then (columnist) Ruth Griffiths phones me and says, ‘You’ve got some wool here.’ She’s been my drop-off for 13 years now.”
Once wool is obtained, Wudrich’s team of eight women turn it into blankets using their knitting and crocheting skills. The crew is dispersed across a large region from Duck Lake to Waskesiu.
Despite the onset of cold weather, Wudrich’s latest call for wool is no special holiday drive, but merely reflects the organization’s continual need to maintain supplies of materiel.
“We make (blankets) all-year-round,” Wudrich said. “I have eight ladies working with my chapter … and we’re there wherever there’s a need. People phone me and tell me and I get wool from all over Saskatchewan. Even a lady in Calgary, once a year she sends me at least $500 worth of wool.”
I get wool from all over Saskatchewan. - Lillian Wudrich
Upon completion, blankets are sent to a variety of charitable organizations. Ronald McDonald House receives many, as do safe homes and the Salvation Army. Wudrich has personally delivered blankets to every palliative care unit in Saskatchewan.
In essence, the blankets go to whoever needs them.
“If somebody phones me and says so-and-so’s house burned down (and) they have five kids -- this just happened about a month ago around Duck Lake -- I packed up five (children’s) blankets and two adult blankets and took them to their place,” Wudrich said.
Wool can be donated at the Daily Herald office or by calling Wudrich at 749-2919.