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Volunteer collecting blankets for Northwood residents this Christmas

Nicole Martelle wants to make sure residents at the not-for-profit continuing care facility stay warm this winter
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(stock photo)

A Northwood volunteer wants to make sure residents at the not-for-profit continuing care facility stay warm this winter.

Nicole Martelle is collecting blankets to give out as Christmas gifts.

She started the campaign last year because she says the residents are like family to her.

"Last year I wanted 33, that was enough for my floor, but people came in droves and I got 66," she told NEWS 95.7's The Sheldon MacLeod Show. "So this year I wanted to go for three floors and I put it out on Facebook and Twitter. So far I've got 112."

The response has been more than she expected. Donations have come in as far as Ontario and Maine, and Martelle said most of them are handmade.

"One lady has made 27 blankets on her own in a time span of about 3 weeks, and they weren't small blankets. They were huge blankets that would cover someone from head to toe," she said. "The community has been amazing."

Those who aren't skilled at knitting or crocheting can buy blankets to donate. Martelle just asks that they ideally come from a smoke-free environment.

"We have all different sizes of them, some that just cover the lap, which is perfect for someone in a wheelchair so they don't get caught in the wheels."

Blankets will be distributed in the days leading up to Christmas.

Martelle said the response from residents last year was heartwarming, including one emotional encounter with a woman she had never met before.

"I came in her room. She was sitting in a chair and she has a walker, but she got up out of her chair without her walker and tried to come across the room to hug me," she said. "She was crying and all I could do was cry back. I mean, what do you say to that? She was just so grateful."

Those interested in helping out can contact Martelle at nicole.martelle@nwood.ns.ca or drop off blankets at the Northwood Halifax reception on Northwood Terrace.




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