Joyce ArmstrongCommunity Philanthropist - Chelsea Charity & Quilts for Charity
My Chelsea Charity Journey
I truly believe that I inherited my love of baking from my Mother.
I experimented with making (not so perfect) buns shortly after we were married in 1959. When Doug and I took over the farm, we had high school boys who worked on the farm and could they
ever eat! They devoured a batch of buns that I baked.
The buns kept changing until they were similar to the Chelsea Buns of today. I always used butter. After all we were dairy farmers and even though Doug seldom gave me any orders, he
definitely said that he did not want to see margarine in the house. That changed when he saw just how much butter I used.
When we were still on the farm, I started sending them to bake sales that we often had at our church, but could not produce them in large numbers, as I only had 2 pans. My Mother had
always sent her baking to sick neighbours or to new people in the community. I started to do the same.
When we moved into Keene I thought it would be wonderful to not do so much baking. After all, how much time could it take to feed 2 people and keep a small house reasonably clean? I
just knew I would have lots of time to create quilts in my quilting studio.
Around 2000, Keene United Church had a serious problem in the bell tower. It was going to cost a fortune to repair it! Doug passed along a request about making Chelsea Buns at Christmas for
a congregation member. I said, “No way, not at this time in my life.” Then I began to think that I could do it and donate the money to the Bell Tower Fund. Very swiftly, Chelsea Buns began to
These are overnight refrigerator buns. Thus we got a second fridge to hold dough. Customers also purchased them frozen. Doug bought another freezer at an auction sale.
People offered to sponsor the project, providing sugar and flour. I could not have done it without the support of my husband. Who else would have put up with late meals, carrying buns, picking
up pails for dough, helping me sell, to name a few?
Like other building projects, the work took longer and cost more than expected, but with God’s help we neared the goal. Then we had a fantastic Gala fundraiser. I donated a quilt that sold for
Keene United reached its goal that night! I was so excited that I did not sleep.
By this time Chelsea Charity had donated $7000.
On the way home that night, I had said to Doug that I wanted to continue my adventure.
Really this was only the start. Chelsea Charity would continue for a number of years, adding in home-made fudge. I kept making buns and fudge, with the proceeds going to charities including the local Historical Society, Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto, and helping Syrian Refugee families.
For some time, I kept track of the $, until $40,000 was raised, but counting money is not my love.
To date, the total is somewhere around $70,000.
Now I am back at what I truly love doing, MAKING QUILTS FOR CHARITY…..