Work like a bee for Handmade Hugs April 5

Handmade Hugs Society Cowichan Valley is a group of caring individuals who provide comfort items for people facing stressful situations like illness, loss, or transition with an emphasis on children and the aged.

If you’d like to volunteer with this group, the perfect opportunity is coming in a few short weeks.

The annual work bee, the Hug-AThon, is being held on Saturday, April 5 at Mellor Hall (Cowichan Exhibition grounds) from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For details, visit the website at http://handmadehugscowichan. com In 2009, founder Julie McClure donated her 500th toque to the Nanaimo-based group EDAS (Everyone Deserves A Smile) who ran a winter outreach program for street residents. She wanted to somehow help her own community and began formulating an idea which eventually evolved into Handmade Hugs.

Five years later, her original idea has been expanded upon. She and a group of approximately 100 dedicated volunteers are now part of a registered society, complete with a board of directors, a website, regular monthly get-togethers to work on projects and two annual events.

With an inventory of almost 20 standard items and a list of specialty items serving the Cowichan District Hospital and half a dozen other facilities, this group also provides handmade hugs (quilts, afghans, knitted toys, etc) to individuals whose names have been submitted by family or friends to let the person know that they are not alone, that there are people around them who care.