Quebec woman calls for 25,000 toques to help welcome Syrian refugees

A Quebec woman is hoping that Canadians from across the country can do their part to give a warm welcome to the 25,000 Syrian refugees coming to the country by the end of February.

See Full Article

Danielle Letourneau originallycame up with the idea to challenge her Facebook friends to knit as many toques as possible for the refugees who were set to arrive in the middle of the frigid Canadian winter.

Theplan has since exploded, and Letourneau is now asking Canadians for their help of reaching their goal of knitting 25,000 toques.

"We give newborns each a hat when they come into the world, and it seemed to me it was the normal thing to do when someone comes here as well," she told CTV News.

"They are getting a fresh start so they need a hat like a newborn."

The Quebec native first came up with the idea after hearing about the backlash to the federal government's plan to bring the refugees to Canada in the days following the deadly attacks in Paris last month. She hoped to counter some of the negativity and show the newcomers that they're welcome.

And Canadians have responded.

The donations first started pouring in from Quebec, where community centres and schools help chip in for the cause.

"People really jumped on this opportunity to show who they are as Quebecers, and that they really welcome people," said Lisa Di Fruscia., who co-owns the Montreal knitting store Espace Tricot.

But soon knitters from across the country, and even around the world, pulled out their needles and yarn, spending hours stitching toques for the refugees, who started arriving in Canada late last week.

So far, Letourneau and her group have collected more than 3,000 winter hats, and there are now 50 drop boxes across the country that continue to accept donations.

"I feel at home because they are welcome," she said.

"I know the spirit of the people I live with."

The refugees who landed in Montreal on Saturday were the first to receive the heartwarming gifts, which came with notes in French, English and Arabic, each explaining that they were handcrafted by Canadian citizens.

The Red Cross volunteers who were been charged with handing out the toques said that each one is like a personal message from Canadians showing that they care.

"It is a cold country. We need to stay warm, and when we work together to stay warm it works," said Rima Naim, a team leader for the Canadian Red Cross.

With a report from CTV's Montreal bureau chief Genevieve Beauchemin



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Climate protests to mark Trump's 100 days in office

    Canada News CBC News
    For the second time in a month, tens of thousands of protesters are expected to turn out around the world Saturday to voice concern over climate change in a mass demonstration marking the 100th day of Donald Trump's presidency. Source
  • Wikipedia blocked in Turkey

    World News CBC News
    Access to Wikipedia has been blocked in Turkey because of content presenting the country as supporting terror. Turkey's official news agency, quoting the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications, said Saturday the free online encyclopedia was blocked for "becoming an information source acting with groups conducting a smear campaign against Turkey in the international arena. Source
  • As Macron hunts rural vote, Le Pen celebrates alliance

    World News CTV News
    USSEAU, France -- French presidential front-runner Emmanuel Macron hunted Saturday for votes in rural France where his far-right opponent, Marine Le Pen, is making inroads among country folk who feel left behind. Back in Paris, Le Pen announced that if she wins the presidency in the May 7 runoff she would name former rival Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, her new campaign ally, as her prime minister. Source
  • By the numbers: First 100 days of Trump

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- In his first 100 days in office, President Donald Trump has produced hundreds of tweets, fired scores of rockets at Syria, signed dozens of executive orders, made one big move on the Supreme Court and signed no major legislation. Source
  • Toronto police seek man accused of following girl into backyard

    Canada News CTV News
    Toronto police have released security camera footage of a man accused of following a 13-year-old girl into a backyard earlier this week. In a news release, police said Friday that the girl was walking her dog in a midtown Toronto neighbourhood around 7:15 a.m. Source
  • What Harjit Sajjan really did while serving in Afghanistan

    Canada News CBC News
    Truth being the first casualty of war has taken a decidedly different turn with growing outrage in both the political and military communities about Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan's characterization of himself as the architect of Operation Medusa in Afghanistan. Source
  • Woman, 50 facing charges in elder abuse investigation

    Canada News CTV News
    WARWICK TOWNSHIP, Ont. -- Provincial police say a 50-year-old woman is charged in an elder abuse investigation. They say officers went to a Warwick Township, Ont., home on Thursday to assist health-care workers check on the well-being of a resident. Source
  • B.C. responds to lawsuit over fees to welfare recipients for methadone treatment

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- The British Columbia government says it has done nothing wrong by redirecting money from the income-assistance cheques of recovering heroin addicts to pay private methadone-dispensing clinics for treatment. In documents filed in B.C. Source
  • Former Afghan warlord Hekmatyar says he wants peace

    World News CTV News
    KABUL -- A former Afghan warlord who battled U.S. forces after the 2001 invasion and nursed bitter rivalries with other militant factions before signing a peace deal with the Afghan government appeared in public for the first time in more than 20 years on Saturday and called for peace. Source
  • Austria calls for new EU relationship with Turkey

    World News CTV News
    BRUSSELS -- Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern says Turkey should not be allowed to join the European Union, with membership talks between the EU and Ankara at a standstill. Kern told reporters in Brussels Saturday that "we have to bring our relations to Turkey into new order. Source