Posted on: December 19, 2019



Mavie’s Mitten Tree was born in 1999 when Mavie Darrah, a long-time Edmonton Self Starters Organization (WSAC’s  original name) and current WSAC member, decided that as an organization we could make a difference in the lives of needy children by distributing hand knitted mitts, scarves and toques.  The Board of Directors agreed and “Mavie’s Mitten Tree” was born!

A knitter herself, Mavie soon had a number of fellow members excited about the idea and before long a Christmas tree in the reception area of the seniors center held dozens of items.

Mavie has coordinated the project ever since then and over the years has delivered hundreds of beautiful, warm items to Bissell Centre, the Mustard Seed Church, the Edmonton Garrison and several schools and day care centers in the west end of the city.

While the emphasis is on mittens, scarves, and toques, a number of lap afghans have been provided to the Cross Cancer Institute; slippers to the Misericordia Paediatric Unit; and infant-sized items to the Health for Two program at West Jasper Place Public Health Centre.



Board President Jay Pritchard and one of our guests, with Our mitten tree founder Mavie and our Executive Director Haidong Liang



We had a full house, with over 160 tickets sold for the event.  Our Event Coordinator Heather did an amazing job putting together the event and did a great job as our MC for the day, although she was a bit shy about having her photo taken!

As always, our volunteers played a huge part in the day’s success.  Our kitchen staff and volunteers did all of the cooking for the lunch and the food was amazing, with everyone having a traditional Christmas dinner!  Each table received a platter filled with yummy desserts.  Our wonderful volunteer baker Lorraine made some very tasty treats…the favorite was the Vanilla cupcakes with a lemon chiffon inside and a pretzel Christmas tree!




We were entertained by 2 members of the Hohloma Russian Dance Group and then enjoyed some songs by Dr. Jerry Katz!





Children from Ben Calf Rope St Clare elementary school were onhand for our event.  One of our volunteers read the Mavie’s Mitten Tree story to all of us and then the highlight of the afternoon was watching Mavie give each of the children a pair of mittens from the Mavie Mitten Tree!

Santa was also here to meet with each of the children and some of our staff and members!




We had a number of door prizes for our guests.  Our Fundraising Committee also did the draw for our Wine Basket raffle…congratulations to all of our winners!



All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon.  Congratulations to Mavie and her mitten crew…this year we delivered a variety of hats, toques and scarves to 13 different schools and organizations.  

We recently received an email from one of the schools we delivered mittens to…
We just wanted to send a very big THANK YOU to all of the lovely people that took time to knit beautiful mittens for our ‘tree of warmth’ at Mayfield School!!! The mittens are gorgeous, and will truly benefit many tiny hands. 
Thank you for your kindness and donation, 
Mayfield School



And remember…new knitters are always welcome to pick up donated yarn from the centre and knit items for this great program!

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