Local seniors sew hand-made blankets for homeless

Julie Chalykoff is one of several community members who are helping those in need this month as Ontarians bear the frigid cold.

Working as an active volunteer for decades, she, along with several seniors from southwestern Ontario began sewing 35 blankets for London’s homeless population.

Chalykoff and her group of friends started making masks last year for students and blankets for people in need.

“We feel so good and the seniors feel so good to give something to the less fortunate,” she said.

The group of volunteers is made up of several friends and people in the community who offered to help, said Chalykoff.

“Because of the pandemic, the seniors really appreciated doing something. I just made some phone calls and some offered, and that’s how it started,” she said.

To make sure the blankets got into the right hands Chalykoff dropped them off at Project Hope’s location. Project Hope is a charity organization that supports individuals experiencing homelessness in the city.

The organization’s donations coordinator Tara Lavoie told CTV News London, “Those blankets could mean the difference between life and death for some of these people...You wouldn’t believe it but there are tons of people sleeping on the streets of our city every night.”

The organization has nearly 100 volunteers, many of whom are out on the street several times a week hoping to make a difference by handing out toiletries, hot meals, blankets and more.

“We just talk to them and see what they need and hope that we have it,” Lavoie said.

Levoie says those looking to help someone in need through Project Hope can drop off a donation at their storage location at 203 Bathurst St.