Monica Martin (far left) and Marilyn Nakucyj (centre)

Monica Martin (far left) and Marilyn Nakucyj (centre)

Ditty bags spread the spirit

The Lansdowne chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star has presented gifts to Vernon Women's Transition House

It’s a bag originally used by sailors to carry their kit, and now local families in need are receiving their own ditty bags full of goodies.

The Lansdowne chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star has been filling and donating ditty bags to both the Vernon and Salmon Arm Women’s Transition Houses for 19 years.

The handmade bags are filled with essentials such as brushes, combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, and other toiletries as well as note pads, pocket books, colouring books and crayons. Inside is also a stuffed  toy for each child.

“This helps to ensure that women and children who have left their homes with nothing have a little something extra,” said Diane Mamalick, worthy matron with the local Eastern Star chapter.

The chapter has also donated funds through its shoe project, where each member counts the shoes she owns and 50 cents from each pair is then donated to a charity.

This year, $429 has been donated to Women’s Transition House, along with the ditty bags.

The Order of the Eastern Star also has a long history of giving back to the community through its collection of cancelled stamps.

“We appreciate any donations,” said Mamalick.

“Stamps should be cut off the envelope, leaving a half-inch border around the stamp. They are sold to a stamp dealer and the money is used to buy any materials to make dressings for hospitals to use for cancer patients.”

For more information on stamp pickup, contact Mamalick at 250-260-2606 in Vernon.