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

  • Nova Scotia woman recovering from 'unbearable' bite from unknown bug

    Canada News CTV News
    WARNING: This story contains graphic images that may disturb some readers. Although she didn’t feel it at first, Lily Doubleday is still recovering a week after she was bitten on the leg by an unknown insect. Source
  • US says some remains of sailors found on USS John McCain

    World News Toronto Sun
    SINGAPORE — The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet said some remains of Navy sailors were found in a compartment of the USS John McCain on Tuesday, a day after the warship’s collision with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters left 10 sailors missing. Source
  • Buddy the blind sea lion goes to Los Angeles Zoo

    World News Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — He’s big and he’s loud. A nearly 700-pound blind California sea lion named Buddy has taken up residence at the Los Angeles Zoo, where his vocalizations can be heard throughout the 133-acre (54-hectare) facility. Source
  • Missouri prepares to execute Marcellus Williams despite new DNA evidence suggesting possible innocence

    World News Toronto Sun
    ST. LOUIS — Attorneys for a Missouri inmate scheduled for execution Tuesday warn that the state is preparing to execute a potentially innocent man. Marcellus Williams, 48, was convicted of fatally stabbing former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Lisha Gayle during a 1998 robbery at her home in the suburb of University City. Source
  • Sailors' remains found after U.S. warship collision

    World News CBC News
    The commander of the U.S. Pacific fleet says a number of remains of navy sailors have been found in a compartment of USS John McCain, a day after the warship's collision with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters left 10 sailors missing. Source
  • Ambushed Ohio judge returns fire outside courthouse

    World News CTV News
    COLUMBUS, Ohio - A man who shot and wounded a judge outside a county courthouse before being gunned down by a probation officer was the father of a high school football player who was convicted of rape in 2013, authorities said Monday. Source
  • North Korea has been following Trump’s ‘rubbish’ Twitter feed: “Weird articles of his ego-driven thoughts’

    World News Toronto Sun
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — North Korea on Tuesday described President Donald Trump as a leader who frequently tweets “weird articles of his ego-driven thoughts” and “spouts rubbish” to give his assistants a hard time. The North’s official Korean Central News Agency made the comments in response to tough talk in Washington and Seoul over threats posed by Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs. Source
  • Instant divorce among Muslims unlawful, Indian court rules

    World News CBC News
    ?India's Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down the Muslim practice that allows men to instantly divorce their wives as unconstitutional. The five senior judges of different faiths deliberated for three months before issuing an order in response to petitions from seven Muslim women who had been divorced through the practice known as triple talaq. Source
  • Dozens injured, none life-threatening, in train crash

    World News CTV News
    UPPER DARBY, Pa. -- A regional rail train crashed into a parked train at a suburban Philadelphia terminal early Tuesday morning, injuring dozens of passengers and the train's operator, a regional rail spokeswoman said. Rail spokeswoman Heather Redfern said none of the 42 people hurt in the crash suffered life-threatening injuries. Source
  • Dozens injured in Philadelphia train crash

    World News CTV News
    UPPER DARBY, Pa. -- A regional rail train crashed into a parked train at a suburban Philadelphia terminal early Tuesday morning, injuring dozens of passengers and the train's operator, a regional rail spokeswoman said. Rail spokeswoman Heather Redfern said none of the 42 people hurt in the crash suffered life-threatening injuries. Source