Throughout the winter, it was a familiar sight: Eva Keller walking along snow-covered sidewalks to the Salvation Army.
Now that cold and ice have given way to more spring-like conditions, she has taken to cycling the route.
Once at her destination, she gets down to work, cutting old, worn-out jeans into quilting squares.
She cuts two sizes: 6-inch by 6-inch and 8-inch by 8-inch.
Fifty pieces of each size go into separate bags, selling for $10 and $15 at the Thrift Store.
It is estimated that she has produced so far at least 1,700 squares, worth $350. The material is noted for creating extra warm quilts.
“She has done yeoman’s service,” says Nico Avery-Weitzel, Salvation Army staff member.
Eva’s volunteer work doesn’t end there.
She also helps prepare food for the community, cutting vegetables, and sorting and bagging items.
“You can always count on Eva to help,” says Nico. “She is exceptional.”
Eva is proof that retirement and the passage of time are no barriers to living a full, productive and useful life.
The former Grade 6 Sidney Street School teacher loves to keep busy. Working at the Salvation Army has become particularly important during COVID-19, a period that has led to isolation for so many people.
“It gives me a chance to meet people,” says Eva, who is modest about her achievements.
She says that she enjoys working in the spacious community room next to the kitchen.
“It is a very safe place to work, and easy to maintain a social distance.”
Like Nico, Major Charlotte Dean has nothing but good to say about Eva.
“She is amazing,” she says.