As long as Maria Sobol has lived at The Village of Humber Heights in Etobicoke, she’s been at the helm of a core group of dedicated knitters. They meet weekly, sometimes as many as 18 of them, working together throughout the year to create inventory to be sold during the Village’s annual Christmas bazaar. The raised funds, which last year totalled close to $1,000, are then shared among a few local organizations serving marginalized families and homeless people.
Nearly 100 people enjoyed a warm Christmas dinner at Scott Mission in Toronto last year thanks to the group, and a local soup kitchen and ‘Toy’s for Tots’ also received a portion of the funds. Maria says she and the group are proud to support the community and they’re thankful they’re able to do so through a hobby they enjoy so much.
It certainly is something Maria is passionate about.
“I knit until about 1:00 at night,” she says. “It’s my hobby and I love it and the other ladies make two or three pieces as well, so it all comes together nicely.”
This year, even before the annual bazaar kicks off on Nov. 17, Maria and the group have already sold more than $600 worth of knitted goods and she’s hopeful they will surpass last year’s exceptional total.
For Maria, community support has always been important; in her working years she owned three businesses in Niagara Falls, and her family was eager to support various projects, such as construction of the Greater Niagara General Hospital.
Today, she and the group look towards people who could use a little extra kindness during the Christmas season. “The ladies who are in the knitting club, they all enjoy it and they are all happy that they can do something,” Maria says.
Carmen Rameshwar, director of lifestyle options at Humber Heights, says she’s inspired by the group’s dedication and their willingness to give their time to people they will likely never know. “They have a great sense of purpose and their commitment to it is outstanding,” she says.
Maria, for her part, admits she gets something out of the constant effort, besides wonderful connections with a great group of friends.
“When I eat my supper on Christmas,” Maria says, “I think of the dinners we gave for the poor, then I feel better and my food tastes better.”
Many thanks go out to: Maria Sobol, Anni Fantinel, Mary Forbes, Elma Hobbs, Evangeline Yarosz, Yolanda Rivera, Ida Wagner, Carmen Nordio, Susie Lawrie, Joyce Peneycad, Sheila Lobsinger, Marilie Codel, Irene Fair, Maryam Bozzo, Mary Lee, Stephanie Thomas , Christine Hanych and Pima Chodol.