Sally Karamath, born and raised in Trinidad, remembered her mother offering food to homeless people when she was a young girl. From the Casting Off the Cold blog:
I could not understand why she would do that, until she explained that these people did not have anything to eat or wear!
Once a month, my Mom would tell one homeless person what day she would be cooking for them, and they would all be on our property very early on that day, and everyone in the family would help to feed them, and send them off with a beggar’s bag.
Working in downtown Toronto, I was amazed to see so many homeless people sleeping on the sidewalks. I could not imagine this in a warm country, much less a COLD one. I did not have a lot of time to do anything then because of my job, working very long hours.
I thought, so many times, that one day I would do something to help out with those in need.
Hard to believe, but here I am 40 years later, when I said to myself that it was time to do something for the needy.
And with that, Casting Off the Cold was born.
How Casting Off the Cold Helps Canadians
Casting Off the Cold started as a small group knitting just for the homeless.
But today they also knit for other groups of people and organizations. Some of these include:
- pregnancy centers
- bereavement programs at hospitals
- Project Linus
- women’s shelters
Though they began life working just in their small local community, Casting Off now serves the greater Toronto area in addition to the York Region of Ontario.
Casting off the Cold, like many knitting charities, has blossomed far beyond what Sally could have anticipated. They now receive thousands of donations from around the world, not just in Canada!
What Casting Off the Cold Accepts
One fun aspect about Casting off the Cold that makes them easy to support is the wide variety of projects they accept. They donate to so many different organizations that they need nearly anything you want to knit.
For example, some of the items they request include:
- preemie clothing
- afghans in all sizes
- baby jackets
Stuck for ideas? You’ll find a list of their current needs residing on the left sidebar of their blog. You’ll find other useful information in the sidebar as well, including:
- Links to free knitting pattern resources
- Donation drop-off locations
- The charities Casting Off the Cold supports
How You Can Help Casting Off the Cold
Again, if you’re a Canadian eager to knit for charity, this is a great organization to work for. You can always take a peek at that list of current needs and pick whatever suits your fancy.
Casting Off the Cold has a strong online presence. They have a regularly updated blog as well as a Facebook page that serves as their online community. So it’s easy to get information on this awesome charity and the other organizations they support.
If you’re unable to drop off donations at the locations listed, contact Sally via Facebook Messenger at their page to work out a shipping address.
If you are like Sally, and you can’t bear to imagine people struggling to stay warm in a cold country like Canada, Casting Off the Cold could be the perfect charity for you to support!