It takes her all year to sew and make them, but knowing that some of the community’s poorest souls will wake up to a stocking on Christmas morning is worth it.
For the second year in a row, Doris Taylor made and filled 36 stockings and 16 women’s tote bags, which will be handed out to Vernon’s homeless community on Christmas Eve.
“There’s lots of people in need,” said Kelly Fehr, North Okanagan John Howard Society director of operations. “Each client in all our shelter programs will receive one. We try to spread them throughout our addictions program too.”
The stockings and tote bags are filled to the brim with candy, lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, razors, cloths, collapsable cup, underwear, socks, mitts, deodorant, feminine products, comb and first aid supplies.
Taylor shops year-round for the items, getting the best bang for her buck and even buys the fabric at garage sales and during material sales.
“I’m really thrifty with the material and the bags, I get all the fabric at 70 per cent off,” said Taylor, who in total spends about $1,500.
Despite the hundreds of hours she spends on making and putting together the stockings (which takes her all year long), it’s a worthwhile project.
“I betcha a lot of people have not had stockings since they were little or even ever,” said Taylor, who is on disability and does a lot of the sewing in the winter (when she’s not busy with her 16 grandchildren – two of which are biological and 14 by choice). “It’s giving back.”
And the clients love them, as Fehr saw after handing out Taylor’s donations last year (which have since grown in numbers and size).
“They were ecstatic, they were very thankful,” said Fehr.