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Within just 10 days, members of Delta Hospital Auxiliary Society and their friends had produced 467 washable laundry bags in response to a request from the hospital’s executive director Teresa O’Callaghan. One of the friends was Kay Foord, ODNW of St. David’s, Tsawwassen.

It did not take long for the director’s coronavirus-related appeal to jump-start sewing machines in the homes of Ladner and Tsawwassen residents once the Auxiliary’s past-president Yvonne Chard, and communication unit co-ordinator Youla Thomas, sounded the alert. Sewers known to Yvonne and Youla were enlisted to augment Auxiliary numbers, while its well-established Pillow Pals team ‘retooled’ from comfort pillows to laundry bags.

Together, 12 Auxiliary volunteers and 12 friends and neighbours, set about repurposing bed sheets and pillow cases into drawstring laundry bags to enable hospital staff to transport their work-wear to and from home and in which they could launder their personal protective garments. With the user depositing and safely removing Scrubs (intact) from the facility in reusable fabric bags, it is hoped the normal volume of disposable plastic bags might be reduced.  

While the Auxiliary members did the bulk of the sewing – one prolific sewer made 72 bags – it was an all-round team effort. Jean Evans sorted through fabric and other supplies at the Hospital Thrift Store, Youla distributed the material and collected the finished articles, and Kathy Bailey delivered the hand-crafted laundry bags to Delta Hospital.

Parishioner Kay, who also knits prayer shawls for St. David’s, intends to continue helping Auxiliary members until hospital staff has at least two laundry bags each.

This new way of aiding hospital workers is another example of new thinking in a new reality.


  • St. David’s Kay Foord participates in new ‘cottage industry’ in Tsawwassen. Photo by Isobel Telford