The Needlework Guild began in Dorset, England in 1882 as a response to the needs of children orphaned by mining disasters in Wales. The group later spread to North America as well as around Britain. There the name has become the Queen Mother’s Clothing Guild, but the original name has been retained in North America.
The Toronto Branch of the Needlework Guild is a registered charity that has been providing new clothing to the needy through front line social agencies since 1892. Our financial base is derived solely from members and monetary donations from other charities, corporations, service clubs, foundations, bequests and memorials. You can link to the Queen Mother’s Clothing Guild by clicking here.
Mission Statement: To donate annually, to selected social agencies, new items of clothing either handmade or purchased. These items are to be distributed to their clients and must not be sold.
What We Do
Members agree to donate at least 2 items of new clothing each year or a cash donation to enable our Purchasing Chair to buy items on their behalf. Tax receipts are issued for donations of at least $10. Members are organized into named groups, each headed by a Convenor who is responsible for gathering donated items each fall.
New members may join as groups or as individuals who will be assigned to a group. Some groups meet annually, others do not. Few gather to knit together.
Our work is accomplished entirely by volunteers. We have no fixed address, but rent space as required for our Annual General Meeting and for Distribution Day.
Many members gather to assist in assembling layettes and in sorting and packing donations during our annual Distribution Day in November when we apportion items to the various agencies we support. An elected Executive is responsible for the administration and finances of the Guild.
The Annual General Meeting is held each year in April. Distribution Day is held each year in November.
Recipients: Children, Teens, Families ,Seniors, Homeless, Neglected
Supported Agencies (Toronto Branch)
In 2019 twenty-two agencies supported by the Needlework Guild of Canada, Toronto Branch circulated some 6,400 articles to their clients.
- Central Neighbourhood House
- Elizabeth Fry Toronto
- Evangeline Residence
- Haven, Toronto
- Humewood House
- June Callwood/Jessie’s Centre
- Krasman Centre
- LAMP Community Health Centre
- Massey Centre
- Moorelands Kids
- Native Child & Family Services
- New Circles Community Services
- Romero House
- Scarborough Village
- Scott Mission
- The Children’s Aid Society – Toronto
- Toronto Social Services – Family Residence
- Toronto Social Services – Robertson House
- West Neighbourhood House
- Women’s Habitat of Etobicoke
- Yonge Street Mission
Executive Members at Large
Jane Craig – President
Heather Crawford – Vice President
Susan Garskey – Past President
Cathy Reith – Secretary
Margaret Martin – Treasurer
Sherry Gerstl – Agency Co-Ordinator
Carole Pixley – Distribution
Susan Garskey – Heritage
Joyce Hisey – Membership
Linda East – Purchasing
Cathy Langdon – Social Media
Heather Crawford – Yarn
Members At Large – Jane Garden, Jill Klaehn, Ann Rubin, Miko Schechter, Nancy Weatherseed, Yvonne Worthington