Manitoba

Winnipeg group seeks mittens, hats to help keep Syrian refugees warm

An independent Winnipeg yarn co-operative is hoping to give the city's newest residents a warm welcome.

Ram Wools Yarn Co-op hoping to give Manitoba's soon-to-be-newest residents a warm welcome

Lori Franko, co-owner with Ram Wools Yarn Co-op, says donations for a campaign to collect hats, mitts and scarves for Syrian refugees are already coming in. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

Winnipeg's knitting community is locking their needles together in an effort give Syrian refugees expected in the city soon a warm welcome.

Ram Wools Yarn Co-op is asking for donations of hats, scarves and mitts to give to the up to 2,000 Syrian refugees that will soon be calling Manitoba home. They are among the thousands of refugees Canada has pledged to accept.

"One of the people in the knitting and yarn community contacted us and said there was an online group in Toronto that was organizing hats, mitts and scarves for refugees," said Lori Franko, a co-owner with Ram Wools Yarn Co-op. "We figured OK, let's do this and we put it on Facebook and away we went." 

All donations collected will go to Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM) or to the Red Cross. 

Franko says there is no deadline to donate but that they are hoping to collect as many cold-weather clothing items as soon as possible. 

"People are doing charity knitting all year round," Franko added. "As soon as you [see] there is a need, they are there to fill it. It's amazing to see how generous they are with their time." 

Those with hats, mitts and scarves to donate, or supplies to knit winter gear, are asked to drop them off at the Ram Wools shop at 989 Portage Avenue.

"The need is endless," explained Franko. "It's cold here. People need these things." 

Ram Wools plans to add a 'thermometer' feature to its website to measure the campaign's progress. 

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