A cheerful Irene Brummitt spent a sunny Sunday afternoon at a table in the front courtyard of the Avalon Gardens retirement community where she lives, with a collection of hand-knitted Remembrance Day poppies to collect donations in support of veterans at the Aldergrove Legion.
Made by Brummitt and two friends at the Murrayville residence in the 22300 block of 48th Avenue, the 91-year-old credited the poppy project with giving her a renewed sense of purpose following the death of her husband David, who passed away just before Christmas, a few years ago.
“I really was wondering why God was keeping me on this earth, and then, I realized,” Brummitt told the Langley Advance Times.
Unlike some people her age who develop hand joint problems such as arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome, her hands could still handle the demands of knitting, an activity she has loved since she was a child.
“It’s something I can do. It’s not much, but it’s something,” Brummitt remarked.
“I know why He’s keeping me here – to be useful.”
This marks the third year of the fundraising initiative, which raised $401 in its first year and $445 in the second.
Brummitt said the 2020 initiative is on track to beat that, with 112 poppies, each with a suggested minimum donation of $5, and most of them already spoken for.
“I fell in love with the project because we’re helping veterans,” said Brummitt.
“It’s their only fundraiser of the year. It makes me feel really good.”
While Brummitt said she did not serve in the military, she has family members who have, including an uncle who died in in World War 2 and a grandfather who died at Gallipoli.
While only a relatively few donors came by during the Sunday outdoor event, Brummitt predicted the remaining poppies, that haven’t been spoken for, would sell quickly indoors and all would be gone in time for Remembrance Day.