Close-knit New Brunswick sisterhood helping people in need

A close-knit group of senior sisters in Riverview, N.B. is knitting their way to help people in need this Christmas.

The group is called “Busy Hands” and is made up of residents, mostly nuns, who have served their community for decades at Parkland Riverview.

Since being founded in 2000 by Sr. Marie Saulnier, the knitting group has donated more than $70,000 to local charities.

“Every person that makes something for Busy Hands, we sell that and we keep the money for donations for the poor before Christmas,” said Saulnier.

Sister Amelia Deveau has dedicated her life to the church and to helping people in need.

But even at the age of 98, she says her aching, arthritic hands still don’t miss a stitch.

“I have no secret, just good luck,” Deveau said.

Deveau says she will continue to serve her community even if her hands don’t work like they used to.

“I have wrinkles and it helps to keep those fingers busy,” said Deveau.

But according to the group, the sisterhood is dwindling.

“There are not too many coming in but those who are in are in, we do what we can with the strength we have,” said Sister Rose Mary Mombourquette.

So now they are also drawing from the strength of women outside of the sisterhood.

Helen Warren, who isn’t a nun but lives at the seniors home, joined “Busy Hands” two years ago. She says she is blown away by the amount of money the group has raised over the years. “It is unbelievable that such as small group can help so many people,” Warren said.

Saulnier says $73,179.29 has been donated to various charities since 2000 and every penny and stitch is offering hope to people in need.

This year’s recipients are Karing Kitchen, Albert County Food Bank, Ray of Hope, Moncton Headstart, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASED) Moncton and Salvation Army Family Resources.

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