Mittens make the day for Chez Doris and her big Valentine’s Day party

Chez Doris Executive Director Marina Boulos depends upon mittens and the kindness of strangers to help work a bit of Valentine magic for lost and lonely women in the city’s downtown core.

As far as Marina Boulos is concerned, mittens and the kindness of strangers made the day for hundreds of women who showed up at Chez Doris for some treats and a bit of fun at the shelter’s big Valentine’s Day lunch.

“These mittens are wonderful,” said Boulos as she tried on a few pairs. “Tina and the ladies do such a wonderful job with these mittens and they’re worth every penny...especially when it’s cold outside.”

Made out of recycled sweaters gleaned out of the center’s clothing room, Boulos said that each and every pair of Tina Chamedy’s mittens is an original creation “...that looks as good as your hands as they feel when you have to go out and shovel the walk in this kind of weather.”

As some 275 women took the trouble to spend $35 for a good pair of Chamedy’s mittens, Boulos believes that it’s good money that goes a long way for women who need the kind of help they can’t get anywhere else in town.

While the hits of another generation provided some of the party’s soundtrack, some of the ladies were dancing while others were happy just to sit around and have a chat with their friends. According to team leader Allison Lemieux, the party started early with some karaoke before the ladies got serious and settled down for some world-class bingo.

“A lot of our ladies went straight to the manicure table,” said Lemieux. “Others had a massage, and everybody seems to be having a good time.”

Everybody was having a good time up until noon when the pizza delivery guy showed up with a van full of pizza, fried onion rings and lots of salad for a lot of hungry ladies. Following their lunch, the party began to break up as women began to put on their coats in order to get ready to go back out on the street. As they began to leave the party, Lemieux’s crew made sure each and every one of them left with their very own Valentine’s Day present made up of carefully wrapped chocolates and a bit of make-up.

While mitten sales helped pay for the party, Boulos also said “...these mittens are special because they do a lot more for people than just keep your hands warm.”

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