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Handmade Hugs Society

Cowichan Valley

About Us

Who are we?

Handmade Hugs Society Cowichan Valley is a local group of caring individuals that provide comfort items to those in need in our community with an emphasis on children, the displaced, and seniors.

What, specifically, do we do?

Handmade Hugs Society Cowichan Valley provides our local care facilities with Winter Woollies (toques, scarves, & mitts), slippers, pajama bottoms, handmade quilts and afghans, and a variety of other products that make long hospital stays or other emergency situations easier to cope with.

We also provide individual "Hugs" to nominated individuals who are facing life-changing events such as illness, loss, displacement, etc.

Where can you find us?

Our goal is to be located in hometowns all over the province. As more people become involved, we can expand into any area that can use our help. Our "hometown" is the whole of the Cowichan Valley. Our clients include the local hospital, many care facilities and community service providers, as well as our schools and local daycares. We are also providing our assistance to other charitable and/or service groups by providing "Winter Woollies" and a wide variety of other handmade items, multiple local service providers, other public aid groups (Community Services, RCMP, firefighters, displaced persons organizations, etc), offering our services, as well.

When did Handmade Hugs begin their work?

Handmade Hugs was established in 2009 and began producing the items required to meet the criteria outlined. We began our work with CDH in 2010, expanding from that point to include all of the Cowichan Valley.

In 2011, we became Handmade Hugs Society Cowichan Valley, a registered society.

In 2014, another small Handmade Hugs group was formed in Quesnel. Their focus is entirely centered on providing Woollies (specifically, toques) to school-aged children.

How can you help?

  • Handmade Hugs Society Cowichan Valley can always use volunteers.

We need sewers (simple straight seam sewing, simple serging), quilters, knitters and/or crocheters. We need people willing to sort and pre-wash fabric donations. to cut fabrics into usable dimensions, to do finish work (embroidering features, tying quilts, hand-sewing ribbons).

We need volunteers willing to make new community connections: finding those who need our services, speaking to local businesses, churches, and community groups about our Society and finding resources (cash, product items, or time) to expand and continue our work. seeking donations (cash, product items, or time) to expand and continue our work.

  • Become a Member. For a small, annual fee you can become a Society member, an important step to keeping us going!

  • You can donate fabric, yarn or other items (ie" products for the kit bags, batting)
  • You can donate cash or gift cards. We are a Society, not a registered charity. so we cannot provide tax receipts but we are able to provide written verification of your donation. One hundred percent of the cash donated to Handmade Hugs Society Cowichan Valley will be used to purchase items to enable us to continue our work.

If you'd like to help or if you know someone who needs our help, please contact us.

Here's a link you might enjoy:

Our Board of Directors



Vice President

Co- Secretary's


Past President





Volunteer Coordinator/Social Media



Vivian McDonald

Andrea d'Haene

Deb Melnyk

Helen Nation

Tracy Clements

Linda Kemp

Monique Lapointe

Karen Brule

Fran Whitfield

Jan Orrico

Cathy Schmidt





Inventory / Warehousing

Media / social media

Community Contact


Project Contact



Andrea d'Haene and Jan Orrico

Monique Lapointe and Deb Melnyk

Jan Orrico and Deb Melnyk

Karen Brule and Cathy Schmidt

Cathy Schmidt

Jan Orrico

Andrea d'Haene