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Stitch by Stitch: knitting helps a community heal

Stitch by Stitch: knitting helps a community heal

As a Grade 5 student at North Shuswap Elementary School in Celista, B.C., Liam Smith was known for his confident, caring and courageous personality.

The affable youngster made a big mark on his community in only a short time. After a tragic accident claimed Liam’s life, his classmates struggled to process the loss of their friend. As part of their healing process, the students wanted to honour Liam with a special project.

In finding a way to remember their friend, they discovered a love for knitting, and a way to give back to the community with the birth of Lids from Liam.

“It was a way for the students to relax and to focus their feelings,” says Brad Schmidt, a teacher at the school. “Stitch by stitch, the students learned to pour their grief into a project and create something.”

Lids from Liam saw the students knitting toques for patients at Royal Inland Hospital (RIH) in Kamloops.

Liam and his family have a strong connection to RIH. He was born at the hospital in 2006. After he was seriously hurt in an ATV accident, Liam was rushed to RIH. Sadly, he succumbed to his injuries while under the care of physicians and staff. His legacy of caring lives on as his family donated his organs and saved the lives of four children in B.C.

Today almost 2,000 toques have been donated to RIH. Most of the toques have gone to pediatric patients, although in recent years the RIH Auxiliary has been selling toques at their gift shop and downtown store, with the funds going right back to the health and comfort of patients and staff at the hospital.

In life, Liam Smith had a zest for life and courage beyond his years. Lids from Liam is a fitting tribute to a caring member of the Thompson region.

Little Kylee was born at RIH and snuggles with her dad
while wearing a Lids from Liam toque