TORONTO -- Women from the West Rouge community in East Scarborough made a special delivery at Altamont Care Community Friday just in time for Mother’s Day — 82 sewed lap quilts for residents.

“They’re alone. No one can come and see them, and they’re so cut off from everybody. We wanted to do something to make the day easier because their families can’t be with them,” organizer Claire Wing said.

The donation made possible thanks to the work of volunteers, everyone from first time quilters to a woman in her 80s. All the fabric came from volunteers’ homes and a local store.

“We originally heard there were 40 women in the home, and so about three weeks ago they started making these quilts just to bring a smile to their faces, and the next thing we found out, there’s actually 82 women,” said Wing.

Altamont Care Home has been dealing with one of the worst outbreaks in Ontario. Forty-six residents and one personal support worker, 54-year-old Christine Mandegarian, have died from COVID-19. Sixty staff have been diagnosed with the disease.

The quilts are being quarantined and handed out on Sunday. Each one comes with typed message on a paper heart saying, “We are thinking of you. Made with love from the West Rouge Community.”

Krista Green is one of the sewers who helped make the quilts.

“When you’re sewing something for someone else you’re just hoping when they receive it they understand the care and love that went into it is not just from you, but from everyone who cut the fabric, who’s going to be binding it together,” she said.

On hand to accept the donations were several employees and members of the Canadian Armed Forces now working at the long-term care home.

“Something like this is a great gesture,” Sgt. Matthew Davis said. “I think it’s going to mean the world to them.”

“Everyone coming together as a team to support the people who are the most vulnerable, it’s very impressive.”


In addition to quilts, the West Rouge community organized a parade last month to support the facility, and volunteers have been bringing staff food from local businesses three times a week. Friday they brought dozens of cookies.

“It is so amazing. Right from the beginning, the support we’ve had from West Rouge has been amazing and so enlightening. It’s just lifted everybody here,” said Jennifer Welsh, resident programs director at Altamont Care Community.