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VIDEO: Toquers smash goal to make 150 toques for homeless in time for ‘Coldest Night of the Year’

VIDEO: Toquers smash goal to make 150 toques for homeless in time for ‘Coldest Night of the Year’

How long does it take to make 150 toques?

A matter of weeks, it seems.

That was the case for the ‘Loom of Life’ knitting club at Phoenix Society.

Started almost by accident by Nelson Mendonca, a men’s knitting club organically formed and grew in 2020. By the time their story went public, the small group had made an estimated 200 toques. Some were donated to those in need, others were given away to friends and family.

When their story got out to the community, a flurry of donations arrived for their club.

That’s when things really took off.

Using donations of yarn, as well as monetary donations, the small club was able to expand to even more residents in recovery at Phoenix Society.

In January, Phoenix residents then set a goal to make another 150 toques in time for the ‘Coldest Night of the Year’ fundraiser on Feb. 20. The event, traditionally a walk, is a fundraising effort to raise money for those living in homelessness and hunger.

While COVID-19 threw a wrench into the “walk” component of the event, the Phoenix Society “toquers” decided to give back this year by making and donating 150 toques to the homeless.

And, they hit their goal early.

The toques are to be delivered to Whalley service groups (Surrey Urban Mission Society and Nightshift Street Ministries) to be distributed to those living in local shelters or those living on the streets.

While the toques have been loomed with care, and are soon to be delivered, our “Coldest Night of the Year” fundraiser continues through to Feb. 20.


IN THE NEWS: A man started a knitting group to help people like himself recover from drug addiction

Donations of $25 or more will receive a free toque from our knitting club – and funds help those struggling with homelessness and poverty in our communities.

Nelson and all the toquers thank the public for support, and say it feels good to give back. Many residents at Phoenix have struggled with homelessness at some point in their lives, and this has become a full-circle moment for many.

Nelson said they all “feel really good about what they’ve accomplished and the ability to give back.”

“The best part about making the toques, and we’ve discussed it many times, is just to start something and finish it and be able to give it away. In our past, a lot of us couldn’t say we’ve ever done that, so it may sound like a small achievement to finish a toque, but it means a lot to start and finish something and be able to give it away. It’s like a stepping stone to accomplishing things bigger than making toques.”

For media inquiries contact:

Amy Reid

Fund Development and Communications Manager

[email protected]