The Alberta Girl Guides donate 7,000 blocks!

In September, 2006, the Alberta Girl Guides approached the Edmonton Chapter of Blankets for Canada about a provincial project. They challenged the Girl Guide Troupes to learn to knit or crochet 8” blocks for Blankets for Canada Society Inc. At the time, the Blankets volunteers were not aware that the blocks would be held until one submission at the end of the year!

The Girl Guides had a Jamboree at Sylvan Lake, Alberta two weekends ago. They took all their blocks together and the Tofield Troup won the challenge with the most blocks made in the year. You may remember the Tofield event last month where the community challenged each other and Blankets was the recipient of 51 Quilts and 100 quilt tops … well, the Girl Guides were there, too, with their many, many 8” blocks, but did not donate them to Blankets at that time, until they could do so through the Jamboree. Congratulations, Tofield! You are a committed community, indeed!

The Girl Guide leaders were going to take the blocks to the Edmonton Chapter Saturday Work Bee – but found it took too many cars to deliver all those blocks – approximately 7,000! – so took them into the Michael’s Store in Red Deer instead. Gwennie was notified that night, so she e-mailed Gladys Goodey, our Sylvan Lake volunteer, of the dilemma presented to Michael’s in Red Deer. “No problem” she said – “I have a doctor’s appointment in Red Deer in the morning, and my husband, Jim, can pick them up while he’s waiting for me. We will be taking our truck.” – and they were as good as their word.

Now the dilemma was at Glady’s place where the blocks in very large boxes now filled her living room. Since the Edmonton Chapter Leader, Eileen Liddle, was on vacation but staying at home that week; and since the second in command, Marie Blanchette, was currently between jobs and at home that week- the two women decided they had time to go to Sylvan Lake to pick up the blocks to have them in Edmonton in time for their Saturday Work Bee on August 11. However, they knew it would take either two trips in one car, or two cars in one trip. They investigated the option of renting a cargo van – which was the cheaper route - and they visited Jim and Gladys and picked up the blocks.

The blocks were delivered in time for the Saturday Work Bee – can you imagine the look on the faces of 16 volunteers who arrived for the beeat 10 AM that morning?!?!? – the blocks were laid out over 10 tables in the church auditorium, and the volunteers (14 women and 2 men) went to town counting, sorting, and packaging the blocks into bundles of 48s. It took until 2:30 in the afternoon! Many of the volunteers took many sets home, as storage space at the church is at a premium.

Shelley and Gwennie prepared a fun game to be played at lunch break, and volunteers were to nominate and vote on who would win each prize (prizes were things found in Gwennie’s Pantry – toothbrush, toothpaste, box of chocolate pudding, tube of hand lotion). Some of the prizes went for the volunteer who had the most fun, the volunteer who was the quietest, the volunteer who found the most unusual size or shape of block, the volunteer who was the most creative in selection of her bundle of 48, the volunteer who guessed the closest to the number of crocheted blocks received, etc. A fun time was had by all, and none complained of the workload. The volunteers even found time to build 4 quilts at the end of the day.

As this was Shelley’s last work bee with the group before she moves to Ontario (to join Debbie’s group of volunteers), all went out to dinner to say farewell. And another successful Work Bee came to a close.

Submitted by the Edmonton and Area Chapter volunteers, August, 2007