Canada Sews: Don’t you love the idea that the world could be saved by the oldest among us?

Help in Trying Times

A Column by Amanda Burger

A void is being filled by people, everyday people.

An assortment of face masks.

People like Joan Davis of Morewood and Anita Comfort of Kanata, and Sheldon and Dianne Shane of Shane’s Signs in Chrysler.  The Shanes are now using their business equipment to make face shields (much as Canadian small-batch distillers are using their alcohol to make disinfectant and sanitizer).  

Joan and Anita have been spearheading what started out as Sewing For Lives Ontario, now merged into Canada Sews, to provide face masks, headbands and caps for medical staff. With a team of volunteers, they are sewing to save lives.

Who are these people? Average everyday people, people with sewing machines and people without them, people who want to and can help,  many of whom are seniors: Don’t you just love that idea? That the world could be saved by the oldest among us?

The group led by Joan and Anita have provided Eastern Ontario with 5,000 face masks but have received 12,000 requests for them. They have sewn and distributed 350 scrub caps and are working diligently to fulfill the 2,300 requests they have received.

Newly sewn caps, ready to go.

Lately, the high-demand requests are for headbands with buttons on the sides to relieve the elastic chafing behind the ears that so many of our health related employees are living with. Canada Sews Ontario has received 2,600 requests for these and has been able to supply 300, so far.

More people to sew are needed and personal stocks of material have dwindled to almost none. Donations of cotton material, elastic and bias tape, and buttons have become critical. Getting the masks, caps and headbands to people who need them is also a challenge and more drivers would really help. Drop off zones throughout the region have been established to make it more accessible for people wishing to donate materials or completed masks, caps or headbands.

If anyone wishes to join and help save lives you can email:

As we move along day by day, we will see other needs grow. These needs are going to be met by groups of individuals. People who can help, who want to help, are now, and into the future, the real wealth of the world. It is groups and individuals like Joan, Anita and the Shanes that will save lives, and lives are what are important to humanity.

Staff at Russell Meadows, making use of the final product.

Two of the staff at Russell Meadows Retirement Community, Cadence Logtens and Jenna Pietrkiewicz.

An appreciative worker at a senior care home.

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