My story begins when I was in grade 8. Our teacher at Dr. George Johnson Middle School in Gimli, Mrs. Stouffer, wanted her students to get involved in our community.
So, we started knitting toques and during the 2012-2013 school year I knit 57 of them.
I loved knitting in class and at home in grade 8 because it helped relax me from the stress of school work. We would pass the looms around the classroom during the day and everyone would knit a few rows.
Our teacher took the toques to Winnipeg during the Christmas holidays and she donated them to homeless people.
When I attended grade 9 at Gimli High School, I joined the Social Justice Club to get involved in my school and community. Social Justice is a club where we learn about world issues and raise awareness in our school and community about them.
Mr. Jantz, who is the leader of the Social Justice Club, told us about a Habitat for Humanity Global Village Build Trip that he leads from Evergreen School Division every two years to El Salvador. I went home and told my mom I would love to go on that trip. We collected some more information and started the process of fundraising and paperwork.
I thought it might be a good idea to knit toques and try to sell them to fundraise for the trip. So I started knitting, and during the 2013-2014 school year, I knit about 100 toques to help fundraise for our Habitat for Humanity Global Village Build Trip to El Salvador.
We also organized a raffle for a TV, and parents of students who were going on the trip worked meat draws to help raise funds.
In El Salvador, we had three teachers accompanying 12 students including myself.
When we returned to Canada I asked my mom if I could go on another build with her and she agreed. We started fundraising and I knit about 200 toques.
This past year, my mom and I went to Portugal in the summer of 2015. Portugal was a lot different than El Salvador because in El Salvador we helped build a house, where in Portugal we helped renovate a house.
We stayed at a small hotel in Braga, Portugal for the week and everyday we walked around the city after work. We went on a tour of Braga and ate at many different restaurants throughout our stay.
We worked really hard that week and we were told they hoped to have the family in the house by Christmas 2015, and they did!
When we returned from Portugal, my mom and I both wanted to go on another Habitat for Humanity Build Trip so we started fundraising once again.
Myself and a couple volunteers have knit over 300 toques to help with our next trip which will be Apr. 30 to May 9, 2016 to Surabaya, Indonesia.
I have been really busy knitting toques. My goal is to set up a foundation so I can make a difference in people’s lives. My foundation will be focused on volunteering, citizenship, community relations and connections.