Sunday, December 14, 2008


Now that the festive season is upon us, we'd like to thank everyone who has made a contribution of any sort to Casting Off the Cold in 2008.

Whether you have knit or crocheted some items, donated yarn or supplies, or even helped somebody with a project, your contribution will ultimately reach someone in need in our community or in the GTA. And that's what we're all about.

Of course, our greatest thanks goes out to the anonymous donors who provide so many of the pieces we donate. We may never meet you personally, but please know that we sincerely appreciate all you do for our cause without attaching your name to it. We'd love to be able to thank you in person at one of our meetings!

From Sally and the Casting Off the Cold committee, we wish all of our members and donors a wonderful, safe and happy Holiday Season, and all the best in the New Year!


On November 13, some of the members of Casting Off the Cold were on hand at the Bata Shoe Museum for the kickoff of their 'Warming the Sole' campaign for 2008. The Museum holds a sock drive every year in support of a number of downtown charities, and this year added a silent auction of artwork to boost their dontation. Casting Off the Cold members knit the socks for the auction, and a number of local TV celebrities decorated them. The photos below show some of the finished products that were up for auction.

Siobhan, Sally, Monica and Pat, who represented Casting Off the Cold at the Bata Shoe Museum. The Museum staff kindly put up an information poster to showcase who we are and what we do.

The finished products, on display for the auction. Some of the socks didn't even look like socks any more! Our celebrities certainly used their imaginations in support of the Bata Shoe Museum and their cause.

Thanks to the Bata Shoe Museum for asking us to take part in their sock drive in such a unique way. We hope to be part of it again next year!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

2008 Donation!

On Sunday, Octber 26, Casting Off the Cold made its 2008 donation at the Markham Library. Of the ten charities we support, representatives from eight were on hand to accept the bags of knitted and crocheted items we have been gathering since late last year.

Many of the group members were on hand to hear how thrilled our charities were with the amount and quality of the items they picked up. It was a real joy for us to be able to talk to them and find out what each organization does and what kinds of items they need the most.

The event was covered by Snap!Markham, a local community newspaper, as well as by CityTV. The CityTV segment aired as the 'Liveable City' item on CP24 on October 26 and during the 6:00 CityTV Newscast on Wednesday, October 29, and highlighted the more than 1,500 items we donated.

Many, many thanks to everyone in the group and the donors who so kindly gave finished goods and yarns to our cause. We truly couldn't do this without your help!

Now that the 2008 donation has been made, we have a long list for 2009!! Get those needles and hooks out; we've got a lot to do. We'll have a list of requested items at our next meeting, so if you're looking to start a new project, come and see us on December 7th at the Markham Library.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


It’s an honour that the Bata Shoe Museum has chosen Casting off The Cold to take part in their fundraising for Out Of The Cold. This is an Outreach organization in Toronto for the homeless. The event takes place at the Museum on November 13, 2008.

Our group members will be making 20 pairs of socks and they will be decorated by local celebrities and then auctioned off. All funds will be donated to Out Of The Cold.

On January 25, 2009, we will be holding sock knitting/crocheting workshops at the Museum. For more info, please check out The Bata Shoe Museum website at

Isn’t that cool!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Well finally I met Dianna from Project Linus, and it was a pleasure meeting her. What a wonderful lady. I was happy to be able to donate a lot of beautiful blankets, which I have collected from knitters and crocheters in the past two months. Dianna also gave me 12 fleece blankets for Casting Off The Cold project, which she did not need for the hospitals.

Thanks to Pat, a member of my group, amazing woman she is, when she puts her mind to doing some thing she is sure to get it done. I received 12 blankets of all sizes from her, just for Project Linus; 10 from Crochetville, also wonderful people working every month for a different cause; 4 from other knitters and 7 from myself!

I hope we could keep this up in the future. SOooo, your help will be greatly appreciated and I thank you for every wonderful item you have made or donated.

Monday, February 18, 2008


Here I am again In Stouffville at “Candlelight and Memories”. This time I am meeting with Tracy to pick up the huge donation of Crocheted items that “Crochetville” made for Casting off the Cold.

Pat, who is one of the members of my group, and I had a delightful meeting with Tracy, having tea and sweets. Not that any one of us needed sweets at that time of the morning, but we just could not resist.

Tracy crochets for many charities including Casting off the Cold. She has been crocheting for us for the past year, though I didn't know it. I always commented on how beautiful the crocheted items were- And Now I know who is responsible for them!

Well I decided to ask Tracy to join the team and guess what! She said yes.

Welcome aboard Tracy!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I would like to share a story with you, about why I started Casting Off The Cold!!

When I was a little girl, I remember my Mom feeding the homeless on our property in Trinidad. I could not understand why she would do that, until she explained that these people did not have anything to eat or wear! Once a month, my Mom would tell one homeless person what day she would be cooking for them, and they would all be on our property very early on that day, and everyone in the family would help to feed them, and send them off with a beggar’s bag.

I came from a family of 12. Imagine, ten girls and two boys all scurrying around serving, and I always felt good after I did that. Anyway, when I came to Canada, I had no idea that I would see the same thing here.
Working in downtown TO, I was amazed to see so many homeless people sleeping on the sidewalks, and could not imagine this in a warm country, much less a COLD one. I did not have a lot of time to do anything then because of my job, working very long hours. I thought, so many times, that one day I would do something to help out with those in need. Hard to believe, but here I am 40 years later, when I said to myself that it was time to do something for the needy.

You never know when something like this might happen to you!!
So there’s my story - we all have one. What’s yours?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Crochetville, an Internet crochet group, chose Casting Off The Cold for their January winter project 2008!!! WOW!! You would not believe the surprise I got,when I was told of the amount of items we have received from this wonderful group!

220 items !!!!!

A group of nineteen has been working for the past two months just for this project! We are grateful to know that these people are so caring and able to take time out from their busy days to make such beautiful things to send all over Canada and the States.

I am honoured that they chose Casting Off The Cold for their project, and appreciate the time they have put into it.

We would like to thank you all, on behalf of Casting Off The Cold, for helping us make a difference, especially as this year has been very cold and we need many knitted and crocheted items.

Thanks to Tracy Jennrich from Ballantrae, ON, for mentioning us. These items are going to LINUS PROJECT, ROSE OF SHARON, YELLOW BRICK HOUSE AND OTHER SHELTERS WE CAN HELP. If you would like to check out the photos of the items that were sent to us, click on the link below.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I got this beautiful thank you from ROSE OF SHARON. I was very touched that we were able to make a difference.

Rose of Sharon
Services for Young Mothers

January 2, 2008

Casting Off The Cold
Sally Karamath Organizer
Unionville, ON

Dear Sally,

On behalf of our Board of Directors and Staff, I would like to sincerely thank you for your generous knitting donation to our Christmas Basket Campaign. Your wonderful donation of hats, mitts, scarves, and blankets for these baskets was truly appreciated.

The Christmas 2007 Campaign made the holidays special for one hundred forty young mothers and their children who each received a Christmas Basket made especially for them. It would not have been possible to provide the baskets without your generous support. Thoughtful caring people, such as yourselves, help to make a tremendous difference in the lives of these young families.

We would like to thank you and ‘Casting off the Cold’ for helping us make Christmas for these young mothers and their children a joyous time. This Campaign lets them know they are loved and cared for. Your support gives them hope for the year to come.


Melissa Robinson
Community Resources Coordinator