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

  • Passenger train partly derails in Australia, killing 2

    World News CTV News
    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA -- Several cars on a passenger train derailed in southeastern Australia, killing two operators and injuring 12 other people, police said. The train was heading from Sydney to Melbourne late Thursday when part of it came off the tracks in Victoria state near Wallan. Source
  • Wet'suwet'en chiefs to spend Friday with Mohawk supporters in Ontario

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- A group of hereditary leaders from the Wet'suwet'en Nation in British Columbia is to spend the day with Mohawk supporters in Ontario. The B.C. hereditary chiefs are thanking the Mohawks for supporting them in opposition to a pipeline project on their traditional territory by blocking a critical rail line between Toronto and Montreal. Source
  • First round of Wuhan evacuees to be released from quarantine today

    Canada News CTV News
    Full coverage CTVNews.ca/Coronavirus First round of Wuhan evacuees to be released from quarantine today As Canadians from cruise ship fly home, those who tested positive can only wait Source
  • Thai court orders popular opposition party dissolved

    World News CTV News
    BANGKOK -- Thailand's constitutional Court on Friday ordered the popular opposition Future Forward Party dissolved, declaring that it violated election law by accepting a loan from its leader. The court also imposed a 10-year ban on the party's executive members holding political office. Source
  • Latino voters can make or break Democratic campaigns. They're about to get their say in 2020

    World News CBC News
    Latino voters turned the course of the Democratic presidential primaries in 2016. They're about to get their say in 2020. Starting this weekend in Nevada, followed just over a week later by the delegate-bountiful states of California and Texas, Hispanic voters will play a make-or-break role. Source
  • Be warned, Conservatives: a failed leadership bid is not a career-builder

    Canada News CBC News
    There are two types of candidates vying for the Conservative leadership — those who have a plausible chance of winning and those who don't. Only the second category is getting larger. Maybe the people in this second group think they can pull off an unlikely upset. Source
  • Government asking for an extra $2.1 billion for Indigenous programs

    Canada News CBC News
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government is asking Parliament to spend an additional $2.1 billion on Indigenous programs and initiatives, above and beyond what MPs already have approved. While $2 billion of the proposed spending for Indigenous services would be new money, supplementary estimates tabled in Parliament show that more than $53 million in net transfers from various departments would go to a wide range of Indigenous programs and projects. Source
  • Grief, anger and calls for action after shooting in Germany

    World News CTV News
    BERLIN -- Thousands have gathered in cities across Germany to hold vigils for the victims of a racially motivated shooting, amid growing calls for authorities to crack down on far-right extremism. A 43-year-old German man shot dead nine people of immigrant background in the Frankfurt suburb of Hanau Wednesday before killing his mother and himself. Source
  • Iran votes in parliament elections that favour conservatives

    World News CTV News
    TEHRAN, IRAN -- Iranians were voting for a new parliament Friday, with turnout seen as a key measure of support for Iran's leadership as sanctions weigh on the economy and isolate the country diplomatically. The disqualification of more than 7,000 potential candidates, most of them reformists and moderates, raised the possibility of lower-than-usual turnout. Source
  • Charter flight carrying quarantined cruise passengers lands at CFB Trenton

    Canada News CBC News
    The charter plane carrying more than 200 Canadian passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship has landed at CFB Trenton in Ontario. The plane, which touched down just after 2 a.m. ET, was carrying passengers from the cruise liner that was quarantined in Yokohama, Japan since early February due to an outbreak of COVID-19, which is caused by the coronavirus. Source