CSI Christmas club plays secret Santa to the homeless

Published on December 10, 2013

 by Kathy Johnson

There’s a special Christmas Club on Cape Sable Island whose members really are secret Santas.

For the past 15 years or so the group has been knitting blankets, hats, mittens, scarves and socks and each December, donating them to Street Connection in Upper Tantallon, where they are given out to help keep the  homeless  warm during the winter season.

“The club actually started back in the 1970s,” said Martha Symonds, who along with Janice Symonds are the only two original members of the club.

At first the Christmas Club was like most; people paid their dues throughout out the year, and then went Christmas shopping with their savings, said Symonds.

“The first project we did was a quilt,” recalled Symonds, which was donated to a local family. That sparked the initiative.

“We wanted to help someone in need,” said Janice Symonds.

The club’s knitted goods are donated locally as well. “We give to where it’s needed most,” said Symonds.

Club member Patricia Atkinson estimated the group has knit and crocheted together at least 40 blankets over the years.

“Each night the blankets are lent out to someone who is sleeping on the street,” said Symonds. “The next morning the person brings it back in, the blanket is washed and it is lent out again.”

The club members also donate their dues to charity, giving $600 this year. “When you can help somebody, it makes you feel good,” said Atkinson.

The club meets once a month and has recently recruited several more people to help knit blanket strips, which are crocheted together.