The Relay for Life is a fundraiser put on by the Canadian Cancer Society every year. There are events throughout June all over the country. Typically participants register in teams, raise pledges, and then the teams all get together at the event site from 7pm until 7am (that’s right, all night with no sleep). Typically the site has a track. The idea is to always have at least one member of your team walking the track at all times, hence “relay.”
The Toronto Centre event is held at Sunnybrook Park. It draws a lot of teams, typically a couple of hundred participants. Everyone sets up tents for those taking time off the track to rest in. However, for years the Downtown Knit Collective team has been allowed to stay in their tent. Why, you ask? Because instead of walking all night, they knit all night. Chemo caps, scarves, and sweaters for local cancer patients, to be specific. So when they asked if I would like to join the team this year, I of course said yes. So last weekend I finished work on Friday and then headed straight for Sunnybrook Park.
Not only did I have a great time knitting with fellow knitters and watching the antics and passion on the track, but they had activities geared to keep you awake. I wasn’t about to karaoke, but canadianchia and I did sumo wrestle.
So much fun.
More pictures of the event here and here. Videos of our epic sumo battle here and here.
Not only is it fulfilling to raise funds for a very good cause, but knitting added an extra, tangible level. It felt good to spend the time creating something with my own hands for someone going through a very rough time. At the risk of sounding very cliched – it’s like a hug from afar.
Coincidentally, hugs from afar is the idea behind Heart for Africa’s Duduza Doll project. They have been distributing shoes to the children of Swaziland this year, and the hope is to have enough hand knit dolls to give each child a doll at the same time. These dolls are called “DUDUZA” (comfort) dolls. The goal is 10,000 dolls. Details and pattern (knit or crochet) to make your own at the link above. Ignore the due date, they are accepting dolls all year.
Here is my first finished doll, soon to be on its way to a child who needs him.
Not only are they oh-so-adorable, they’re also addictive. Everyone should make one!