25+ years. 200,000 hours.

June is Seniors Month! Volunteering is a great way to keep active, keep connected, share wisdom and your gifts of time and talent.

The Guelph Wellington Seniors Association (GWSA) Craft Club is a shining example of long-standing active volunteers who connect, build friendships and make an impact in the community.

Over the past 25+ years, Judy, Barbara, Nellie, Betty, Joan and Fran have accumulative of over 200,000 hours making items from donated material while crafting for the Treasure Chest Craft shop at the Evergreen Seniors Community Centre.

The Club now has 44 volunteer members who come together on a weekly basis at the Centre keeping them engaged, connected and active in a social environment. The items range from knitted hats, mitts, blankets, sweaters, clothes, slippers, baby outfits, quilts and much more. These handmade items are on sale throughout the year for community members and guests to purchase and is one of the GWSA’s largest fundraising initiatives.

The Craft Club volunteers have donated many of their items to specific projects within the community. Warm scarves knitted for ARCH’s – Red Scarf Project raises awareness to help reduce HIV/AIDS stigma in our community. Tree of Angels receives hats, mittens and scarves. Proceeds of sales have been donated to the Fee Assistance in Recreation Program (FAIR) program through the City of Guelph which provides funding for children and youth the opportunity to participate in recreation programs.

The Craft Club has organized and led the annual Evergreen Centre Bazaar for over 20 years. This large-scale event attracts a number of community members who can view and purchase the items for sale with all proceeds going to the GWSA.

These 6 ladies are always willing to help anyone and take on any task that is asked. Volunteering their time and skills to the association and teaching others while making gorgeous items.

“Volunteering provides health benefits to older adults. It offers them significant physical, emotional and cognitive or brain health benefits. It also enhances social support, social inclusion and civic engagement.” – Volunteer Canada. When older adults volunteer, they contribute wisdom, perspective and at the same time, volunteering provides opportunities to learn and grow. It is a win-win for all.

Members of the Craft Club are looking forward to re-connecting over their shared leisure pursuit which helps to reduce isolation and builds positive connections with the community. As their friendship builds so does their connection to the community and donations of warm hats, mittens and scarves. Their gifts wrap our community in warmth and in appreciation. We are pleased to extend immense recognition and gratitude to these volunteers.

Learn more about the Guelph Wellington Seniors Association, how to get involved or donate materials, visit gwsa-guelph.ca.

Posted on June 1, 2020