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What does a self proclaimed quilting addict do with yards of fabric and 95 people to whom she wishes to show appreciation? Saugeen Memorial Hospital’s new Chaplain, Darlene “Dar” Rath decided making hand quilted reversible tote bags was the answer and on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, a special pot luck was held in Rath’s honour as a way of saying, ‘Thank you’.

Rath is new to Saugeen Memorial Hospital. She lives in Southampton, became Hospital Chaplain in December and is also the Pastor at St. James’ Evangelical Church in Williamsford. “These [totes] were made because these people work really, really hard for our community, they're just tremendous,” said Rath, adding, “It’s just a small little something to show appreciation, that's all.”

Wanting to be sure and include everyone, Rath said the only folks she believes she missed are the “maintenance fellows”. “Before we’ve finished we’ll get one for them too,” she said.

Quilting is a hobby Rath loves and said she’s made hundreds of bags, each taking approximately three hours from start to finish.

The idea of making all of the hospital staff a bag came about when she started thinking about them working on Christmas Day. “There was six or seven nurses on that day so I made them a bag and then I thought well that's not really fair because they were scheduled to work,” said Rath, explaining that she decided to make all the nurses one and then continued with staff in other departments.

She tries to buy locally when she can to support local business and explained that she has three of the bags herself, one for her church in Williamsford, one she uses for swimming and going to the beach and a third to hold her music for Chantry Singers, a group of which she is a part.

Rath said that people have offered to buy her bags from her but that she would rather give them away. “The thing I do though is I put them into auctions for charities,” she said.

Hospital Manager, Donna Chappelle praised Rath. “She looks after the patients, their families and staff,” she said. “She looks after us.”Dar

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