A group of crafters at Chartwell Tiffin Retirement Residence are putting their needles & crochet hooks to work to bring smiles to children at Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH). The Tiffin House Knitting/Crochet Group makes ‘Izzy’ dolls, along with rabbits and other crocheted creatures, which are donated each week to fill a treasure chest in the Emergency Department (ED) at the hospital. The dolls are offered to children in the ED to provide comfort when they are feeling unwell.
‘Izzy’ dolls were first created by Canadian Master Corporal Mark Isfeld’s mother Carol, who sent them to Corporal Isfeld so he would have something to give to the children he met while serving as a peacekeeper in Croatia. When he was killed in 1994, his comrades asked Carol to continue making the dolls for them to give out. Today, the knitting pattern can be found online, and volunteers across Canada – including the Tiffin House Knitting/Crochet Group – make the dolls and provide them for children in challenging situations.
“We have sent Izzy dolls to Cuba, to Poland for the Ukrainian refugees, to SickKids Hospital in Toronto, and to GBGH,” shares Debbie Allain-Michaud, organizer of the Tiffin House Knitting/Crochet Group. “Most of the ladies in our group are over 90, and they have so many projects on the go.”
The same group of crafters also wanted to give back to GBGH financially and held an in-house garage sale earlier this year, raising $400. These funds will be designated to help bring an MRI to GBGH, which is a high priority for the hospital this year.
“These hard-working ladies are such an inspiration, and we are honoured to be recipients of their generosity,” says Nicole Kraftscik, CEO, GBGH Foundation. “Purchasing and installing an MRI at GBGH is going to end the wait for hundreds of individuals in our community whose treatment is delayed because our region doesn’t have enough MRI capacity. The Tiffin House Knitting/Crochet Group is a shining example of philanthropy by doing what they can to bring this important imaging to Midland.”