Top left: The car is loaded up with gift bags. Top right: From left, Phyllis Moore, HHNL Director, Daniel, SMLTC staff, Jennifer Hoy, Comfort Crew knitter, Lilly SMLTC staff, Kathryn Stevens, Comfort Crew knitter, Jan Watson HHNL Chair and Sidney Thomson R.N., HHNL Program Coordinator. Bottom right: Sidney Thomson, Jennifer Hoy, Kathryn Stevens, Phyllis Moore. Bottom left: A closeup of the Comfort Crew label.

It wasn’t a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it was a trunk full of lap blankets, shawls and socks all handcrafted by members of Home Hospice North Lanark’s Comfort Crew.

This group, started last fall with only three members, has become a wonderfully successful program. When Kathryn Stevens, Renate Seiler and Jennifer Hoy got this going they committed to six items per year. Local and social media let the community know about the new endeavour and calls started to come in — people wanted to donate yarn (to date, we haven’t needed to purchase any and we have plenty to keep going), and picked up their needles, ready to answer the call. There are now more than 30 people sharing their talents.

We have presented a number of items to our clients, as per the original plan, and took a load of gift bags to Almonte Country Haven just before Christmas.

This brings us to Stoneridge Manor Long Term Care Home in Carleton Place, on St. Patrick’s Day this year. Daniel and Lilly, staff disguised as leprechauns — or at least Irish revellers — happily accepted the abundance of hand-knit items destined for some of the residents, many of whom watched the presentation through the dining room windows.

While it might not technically have been a pot of gold, it was certainly a pot of something equally valuable — the caring and love put into every stitch by the knitters, with the intention of providing comfort to people they don’t even know.

As James M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, said “Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” We thank everyone involved with the Comfort Crew, and hope they feel the warmth of the sunshine they share.