Students at Hjorth Road Elementary School sport their new knitted toques.

Busy hands, warm hearts

Trio of women knit 500 toques and scarves for students at Surrey's Hjorth Road Elementary School.

Christmas is a time of giving – but teacher Sandra Ball and her family take it to a whole new level.

Ball, her mother Dora Martin and her sister Carol Kennedy have knitted almost 500 toques and scarves for children at Hjorth Road Elementary, an inner-city Surrey school.

“We do it because it makes our Christmas,” says Sandra, an inner city early learning helping teacher. “I noticed there was a need so we started knitting. It is heart-warming when you go to drop them off and the children realize they’re getting them. They’re thrilled.”

This year’s delivery of 250 toques and 220 scarves, which have pockets in the end for the children’s hands, tops the 200 items they delivered to Old Yale Road Elementary last year.

To knit so many items, the trio—who call themselves Busy Hands, Warm Hearts—knit in their spare time throughout the year.

“My mom has already started for next year,” says Ball, who always welcomes donations to buy more wool.

Hjorth Road principal Andrew Zadeiks says the school is very grateful for the donation.

“There are a lot of families living in poverty and a lot of them don’t have this sort of thing,” says Zadeiks. “We have a lot of new Canadian families here who aren’t prepared for the weather. Having the toques and scarves was very useful to them.

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