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'Good to give back': Guelph students knit hundreds of hats and scarves for less fortunate


As temperatures drop, a group of Guelph students are lifting spirits through hard work and selfless acts of kindness. 

A group of third and fourth graders at St. John Catholic School have been hand-knitting winter hats and scarves for people in need.

“We are packing bags, making hats and scarves for all of the people that [need it],” third grader Jacob McWade told CTV News. 

Its part of the school’s social justice initiative aimed at encouraging students to support people in the community. 

Teacher Alijha Girgis-Tweedle came up with the idea after her nephew picked up knitting as a hobby.

“He’s in second grade, so if he can do it, my third and fourth graders can do it too,” she said.

The project has been running for nearly five months with students knitting throughout the day. They also donate other winter items like gloves and mittens.

“The great thing about the knitting is they can just pick it up,” Girgis-Tweedle said. “If you do a couple stitches, you’re done with it, another student can [continue it].”

Students at St. John Catholic School in Guelph are knitting winter hats and scarves for the Royal City Mission. (Tyler Kelaher/CTV Kitchener)

The school worked in partnership with Holy Trinity Catholic School, who collected winterwear through a clothing drive. 

“I donated a couple hats,” said Holy Trinity eight grader Lara Zilio. “It’s just good to give back to other people that really need it more than you do.”

Between the two schools they packed around 500 clothing items into individual care packages, along with a granola bar, toothbrush and toothpaste. 

The packages were delivered to the Royal City Mission on Wednesday.

“We found out where all of this clothing is coming [from] and it’s amazing, we’re so excited,” Kevin Coghill, Royal City Mission executive director, told CTV News. “A warm hat on a cold night is going to make a huge difference in someone’s night.” 

The care packages were delivered along with a pasta and garlic bread dinner. Students also baked cookies, brownies and cupcakes throughout the afternoon. 

“I really hope they feel happy and hope they use it and keep warm, and that they know they’re thought about and people care about them,” Zilio said. 

While the initiative is done for this year, organizers said the knitting isn’t going to stop. The school plans to continue the program into the spring to help build inventory for next year’s campaign.

“They want to help, and they want to continue [helping] down the road,” Girgis-Tweedle said. “We’re making little leaders into great big leaders.”

Donations to the Royal City Mission can be made through its website. Top Stories

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