As fall starts to settle in, each new student entering Lester B. Pearson College gets a knitted blanket courtesy of the Zonta Club of Victoria.
The blankets are “recycled and handmade, it doesn’t get better than that,” said club president Anita Mathur.
The project started more than 15 years ago by club member, Cecile Turrall, who found volunteers in care facilities, retirement homes and individuals, to knit squares that could be joined together to create afghans.
The group already supported an endowment for a female student at the Metchosin school and added them to the blanket program.
“We thought ‘I bet some of them would appreciate something a little more personal’,” said Mathur, who’s been directly involved the last three years. “We found that they really hang on to them and take them when they leave.”
This year the club distributed 80 blankets to students from 53 countries including some where the weather is a bit warmer than coastal B.C.
The club is part of the global Zonta organization of executives and business people working to advance the status of women worldwide.
“We got to understand people are coming from all these various cultures, and the women are learning they can be empowered,” Mathur said. “At the same time the young men who come to the college are learning they can and should support these women.”
To date, the club has donated more than 5,000 afghans to the Salvation Army, Victoria Hospice, Royal Jubilee Hospital, Saanich Peninsula Auxiliary, Victoria Persons with AIDS Society, Our Place and Pearson college.
The club gratefully accepts donations of leftover yarn. To have someone pick up donations call 250-592-9350 or 250-383-0794. Learn more about Zonta at www.zontavictoria.org.