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The Basketeers are recruiting

While the Musketeers were all for one, the Basketeers are all in one – basket that is. Four women have joined forces for a mission of altruism.
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Tammy Ridout, Eva Landreth, Jane Landreth, and Sandi Hart-Cain have started the Collingwood chapter of the Basketeers, a group of volunteers who collect baskets full of goods to be donated to local women’s shelters and gifted to women as they leave the shelter to start out again on their own. Contributed photo.

While the Musketeers were all for one, the Basketeers are all in one – basket that is.

Four women have joined forces for a mission of altruism.

The Basketeers started in Toronto about 16 years ago and since then local chapters have sprung up in communities around Ontario, Newfoundland, Quebec, and Georgia. This year will be the first Basketeers mission in Collingwood.

Jane Landreth first approached her friend Sandi Hart-Cain with the idea to start a local chapter. Landreth learned of the Basketeers while living in Stratford. Hart-Cain was in before Landreth finished the sales pitch. Eva Landreth and Tammy Ridout joined the group and now the basket task begins.

Basketeers pack laundry baskets full of new household items once a year and donate them to a local women’s shelter. The complete baskets are meant to be given to a woman leaving the women’s shelter “to a new beginning.”

“We just want to help a woman,” said Landreth. “When I moved here I thought I would like to do something to volunteer. I wanted something different. This is a bit more personal.”

For a couple weeks, the Basketeers have been spreading the word, looking for people to pack and donate baskets. They’ve set a goal of 40 baskets in time for the donation day on Nov. 17.

“It’s been really well-received by people,” said Hart-Cain. “People are really looking for a different way to help … This is perfect. It’s unlike anything else because it supports women in their transition.”

In addition to baskets, the group is looking for cash donations for packing items and things like coffee and muffins for donation day.

The drop-off date for this year is Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Blue Mountain Golf and Country Club from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Anyone interested in donating a basket can register online here. The website includes suggestions on what to include in your basket. Items should be packed in a large laundry basket or storage container. The baskets can have a theme, and the total value should be around $150 to $200. The Basketeers suggest filling the basket with anything you think a woman leaving a shelter might need. Include a personal note of encouragement if you like then wrap the basket up. They also ask that you attach an itemized list of the basket contents to make matching the basket up with a woman a little easier.

Baskets will be donated to My Friend’s House and the Grey Bruce Women’s Shelter. You’ll find local chapter updates on Facebook here.




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