The Dorcas outreach ministry run by the Anglican Church Women of our diocese has long sent Christmas parcels of new clothing and necessities, first to the Anglican missions in the Caledonia region and then to the Diocese of Caledonia, a practice ongoing since before 1860. In early years, the bales went north by ship to Prince Rupert and the Queen Charlotte Islands and eastward on the mainland. Today they are delivered by Canada Post. This year we sent to six villages: Masset and Old Massett on Haida Gwaii, Port Edward, Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, and Fort St. James. This is fewer than normal this year as one parish was so overwhelmed with the pandemic crisis that the church was unable to cope with the distribution.
In 2020, the boxes were packed in St John’s church hall in Duncan on October 27 and mailed the next day. All boxes arrived safely and were collected from the local post offices within five days of mailing – a record. With COVID-19 threatening us, packing was not the usual social occasion. To keep the number of volunteers to fewer than eight at a time, we worked in two shifts. The morning team began arriving by 7 a.m. and sorted the donations, divided into bags for each place, and assembled a heap for each location. This group completed their tasks by 11:15 a.m. The afternoon team arrived at 12 noon, assembled the boxes, packed, labelled and taped. Strict protocols were followed with everyone wearing masks, keeping two metres apart, and following the directional arrows taped on the floor.
I want to thank everyone who contributed donations, transported bags and boxes to Duncan, helped on packing day, and handled the mailing run. Barbara Coleman arrived at 7 a.m. to unlock the door for my husband and me, provided lunch, and worked until the afternoon team finished. A very special thanks to her. Many thanks to Gail Crawford for organizing the mailing, and to Canada Post.
Now is the time to start knitting for 2021! We need sweaters, toques, scarves, mitts, slippers, socks in child and adult sizes, afghans, quilts, and items for the joy bags given to people in distress. The need is great for baby items including clothing (knitted items, sleepers, and onesies in infant sizes six months or larger), receiving blankets and afghans. Kits are available for Dorcas knitting containing yarn and patterns. Contact the diocesan office.