Knitting and sewing are well known to be relaxing hobbies, but one local woman has taken these activities to a new level by using them for a noble purpose – feeding the hungry. Donating the profits from the sale of her creations to local food banks is nothing new for Debbie Amirault. The North Grenville woman has been featured in the Times on many occasions in the last several years in relation to her generous Mouth2Mouth project.
Now, after nearly three years of going strong, Debbie has raised $7,100 through the Mouth2Mouth project and donated it to local food banks, including House of Lazarus and the Salvation Army. All of the profits from the project go right back into the community via donations. Her most recent donation was in the sum of $500 given to the Salvation Army food bank in Kemptville in December.
In a conversation with the Times, Debbie explained that the idea for the project originally came about when the COVID-19 mask mandates were first put into place in mid 2020. At that time, a friend of hers who was an avid sewer donated materials to get her started. After that initial donation ran out, Debbie reached out to the community and was overwhelmed with more donations of materials from others in the community.
The masks were originally $2 each, but the price was eventually raised to $5 each when Health Canada’s mask standards were tightened. The masks have mostly been sold through various online groups. Now, with mask mandates no longer in place, the demand has gone down considerably. This has not stopped Debbie, though. She has moved on to crocheting and knitting projects, particularly creating items that can be purchased and given as gifts, such as wool socks. Just like with the masks, the profits from all of Debbie’s sales are turned into donations to local food banks.
“It took me a whole year to get that $500 donation!” said Debbie, referring to her most recent donation to the Salvation Army food bank. “I was trying different things. I made big bucket hats for the summer but they didn’t really take off. I was trying to find a niche. Wool socks seem to be it!” Debbie has other creative ideas in the works as well. “The wheels are constantly turning,” Debbie added.
Asked why she feels it’s important to support local food banks, Debbie pointed out that her inspiration came from the hardship and food insecurity that many people experienced when the COVID-19 pandemic set in. Even though the need has gone down since the beginning of the pandemic, it is still higher than it was pre-COVID. Debbie predicts that with the current economy, an increasing number of people will be accessing food banks, even if it is just to supplement the food that they buy to get them through to the next pay day.
To learn more about the Mouth2Mouth project, visit a dedicated Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100070400351914.