Your share could raise $30
Before you go, did you know that simply by sharing this campaign, you could help it raise $30? It's an effective way to support the cause.No thanks
- Add on tab
- Pin it
Phoenix Society hasn't added a story.
Due to an overwhelming response in requests to donate directly to the men's knitting club at Surrey's Phoenix Society, we have set up a dedicated donation page. If we hit our goal of raising $5,000, the unofficial club can be sustained for all of 2021. Read about the "toquers" below:
Little did Nelson Mendonca know that picking up a pair of knitting needles in prison would lead to him accidentally creating a group of so-called “toquers” at the recovery facility he would end up at.
“I got here and I forgot how grounding it was for me,” said Nelson, who came to Surrey's Phoenix Society from Corrections and is now in the Transitional Housing Program.
“Just getting fresh out of jail, I was nervous here. I went and got some knitting stuff and just started making a toque. I went down to a meeting and I was knitting. The minute I was knitting in public, I realized my life is different. I don’t care what people think anymore. It spread like wildfire after that. Everyone was asking what I was doing, so I showed one guy on the floor how to do it, then another guy. Before I knew it, it was almost right of passage: To be on my floor you had to learn how to knit.
“So you’d walk into our group and see 10 guys knitting,” he chuckled. “Or walk in and a bunch of guys are watching Scarface and they’re all knitting.”
Nelson estimated the group of roughly 10 men have produced more than 200 toques.
- IN THE NEWS: ‘The loom of life’: Men in recovery in Surrey make toques for homeless, babies ( Surrey Now-Leader)
- IN THE NEWS Knitting takes off at addiction treatment centre in Surrey as men stitch hundreds of toques (CBC NEWS)
- IN THE NEWS: Men in Surrey treatment and recovery centre learn how to knit together (Vancouver Sun)
Some have been given away as gifts to loved ones, others donated to a woman’s recovery house and others to outreach programs that support the homeless.
“And we have a whole bunch of smaller ones that will go to the hospital for babies once COVID-19 is over," said Nelson.
And the men have upped their crafting game as they’ve gained experience.
“Now we have pom pom makers, we’re mixing colours, making brims, making scarves,” said Nelson. “It hasn’t fizzled out.”
Being at Phoenix is Nelson’s first time in treatment, and he says he’s the happiest he’s ever been. His road to Phoenix was difficult. Unable to walk into treatment on his own, he’s been in and out of prison for over 20 years.
In many ways knitting is a metaphor for what happens at Phoenix: Starting something new, changing things, one stitch at a time.
It’s quite common to see Nelson sitting with someone, patiently showing them how manipulate their yarn to create something meaningful.
“It’s the one thing in my life that I cannot cheat, manipulate, cut a corner or find a shortcut around,” Nelson explained. “I have to follow each little step one by one by one."
Sean, a new member to Phoenix’s recovery community, said he finds the knitting “cathartic” and “it’s good to know they’re going some place nice.”
ABOUT PHOENIX SOCIETY
Phoenix began in 1989, in response to the growing number of people in the community whose needs were not being met by the existing systems of care and social infrastructure. In 2020 alone, Phoenix provided services to over 2,000 individuals through our substance use treatment, employment, transitional housing, shelter, and outreach programs.At Phoenix Society, we promote a healthy, vibrant community free of substance misuse, as well as assisting individuals with housing and basic needs.
Learn more at phoenixsociety.com.
HighlightsSee all activity190
Delete media item?
Delete this item from the media gallery? It will also be deleted from any related story update.
Set as ?
The campaign video will appear in social media and email.
The campaign cover picture will appear in social media and email.
The will appear at the top of your campaign page and in social media and email.
It will be removed from the top of your campaign and won't be used as default in social media and email. The will remain in the media gallery.
Add to a Facebook Page tab
You can add to a tab on any Facebook Page which you manage.
Please note that as of Nov 2017, only Pages with 2,000+ fans are able to install custom tabs.
How to remove a Page tab It looks like you don't have a Facebook Page yet. How to create a Facebook Page It looks like you don't have a Facebook account linked. Click here to edit your account settings
Share a link
Delete this story update?
Any pictures or videos will remain in the campaign's media gallery.
Thank you. We take reports like yours very seriously. Our goal is to keep the community safe.
Please know that we may contact you for more information, but that we won't notify you personally of our decision. If the campaign remains available within a few days, it's likely that we determined it not to be in violation of our policies.
Thank you. We've already received your previous report. If the campaign remains available within a few days, it's likely that we determined it not to be in violation of our policies.
Tell us about the problem. Please fill in both fields below.
Record a video
Upload a video
Nothing grabs attention for your cause like a personal video. Take a minute or two to record one now. Record a short video message of support. Or upload one from your device. You can preview or redo your video before you post it.
Nothing grabs attention for your cause like a personal video. Upload a short video message of support. Upload a short video message of support. Or record one right now.
- Most effective video length: about a minute.
- Maximum length: 5 min.
- You can preview or redo your video before you post it.
Heads up! The existing video will be replaced.
Email your friends
Join our team
Tell people why our cause matters to you. Your personal message will encourage others to help. Easy, effective, optional.
Say it in video
Short personal videos by supporters like you are incredibly powerful. Record one right now and you'll help us raise more money. Easy, optional, effective.
Add a personal goal
Set a personal fundraising goal. You'll encourage more contributions if you do. And rest easy. There's no obligation to achieve your goal or bad consequences if you don't. Easy, optional, effective.
We have a video!
We'd love to show you our campaign video. Want to take a look?
, you're already on the team.