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

  • Trump says he's Israel's best White House friend

    World News CTV News
    HOLLYWOOD, FLA. -- HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday that Israel has never had a better friend in the White House than him because, unlike his predecessors, "I kept my promises." Trump energized an audience that numbered in the hundreds at the American Israeli Council National Summit in Florida by recounting his record on issues of importance to Jews, including an extensive riff on his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and relocate the U.S. Source
  • North Korea says denuclearization isn't up for negotiations

    World News CTV News
    CAMEROON, CAMEROON -- North Korea said Saturday that denuclearization has "already gone out of the negotiation table" and it does not need to have lengthy talks with the United States as the end-of-year deadline set by its leader Kim Jong Un for substantial U.S. Source
  • North Korea says it carried out a 'very important test'

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, KOREA, REPUBLIC OF -- SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- North Korea said Sunday it carried out a "very important test" at its long-range rocket launch site that will have a key effect on the country's strategic position. Source
  • Bear Clan Patrol, Indigenous community watch group, opens Calgary chapter

    Canada News CBC News
    The idea behind the Bear Clan Patrol dates back to pre-colonization — Indigenous people providing security to their communities. Bear Clan Patrol first started in Winnipeg in 1992 but went on hiatus after about three years in operation. Source
  • Singh calls for government funding to maintain N.B.'s only abortion clinic

    Canada News CBC News
    Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is calling on the New Brunswick and federal governments to fund the province's only abortion clinic. "I'm calling on the provincial government to fund this important centre, but I'm also importantly calling on the federal government to use the tools that we have to enforce the Canada Health Act," Singh said at a media event at Clinic 554 in Fredericton on Saturday. Source
  • Family recalls how Florida navy base shooting victim 'died a hero'

    World News CBC News
    The family of one of the victims of Friday's shooting at a Florida naval base says the 23-year-old "died a hero," as he pointed first responders to the attacker in his last minutes of life. Joshua Watson, who had just graduated from the U.S. Source
  • Victims of Florida navy base shooting tried to stop attacker, families say

    World News CBC News
    The family of one of the victims of Friday's shooting at a Florida naval base says the 23-year-old "died a hero," as he pointed first responders to the attacker in his last minutes of life. Joshua Watson, who had just graduated from the U.S. Source
  • Victim of Florida navy base shooting pointed first responders to attacker as he was dying, family says

    World News CBC News
    The family of one of the victims of Friday's shooting at a Florida naval base says the 23-year-old "died a hero," as he pointed first responders to the attacker in his last minutes of life. Joshua Watson, who had just graduated from the U.S. Source
  • 'Very happy kids': Family, community mourn 3 children, 2 grandparents killed in house fire

    Canada News CBC News
    A rural community northwest of Edmonton is shaken following a house fire that killed three children and their grandparents. The bodies of married couple Marvin and Janet Gibbs and their three grandchildren were discovered in their Rochfort Bridge, Alta. Source
  • Family, community mourn 3 children, 2 grandparents killed in house fire

    Canada News CBC News
    A rural community northwest of Edmonton is shaken following a house fire that killed three children and their grandparents. The bodies of married couple Marvin and Janet Gibbs and their three grandchildren were discovered in their Rochfort Bridge, Alta. Source