Christine Engel was recognized by the Northern Lights Volunteer Recognition program recently. Photo contributed by GOVERNMENT OF ALBERTA

Central Alberta woman honoured for making hospital gowns

A central Alberta seamstress is receiving provincial recognition for her volunteer efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Christine Engel was recognized under the Northern Lights Volunteer Recognition program.

“She has volunteered her time, expertise and efforts to make 190 hospital gowns to help protect the volunteers that work at The Mustard Seed in Red Deer and Calgary,” the government of Alberta’s website says.

Engel, who works from home in Birchcliff, which is a summer village on the north side of Sylvan Lake, called out for volunteers to help cut and sew the gowns, and more than 40 women stepped up to help.

“She organized the resources and got the supplies organized and delivered to the volunteers. Christine and her volunteers have banded together to help protect volunteers working to protect some of Alberta’s most vulnerable people,” the government said.

“In addition to helping those at The Mustard Seed, she’s given a sense of purpose and pride to those who have stepped up to help.”

The volunteer recognition program aims to honour everyday heroes. Individuals and groups from across the province can be nominated for the award if they contribute unpaid service to the community, demonstrate community spirit or serve as a role model for others.

Volunteers who are selected through the program are profiled on and receive a letter of recognition.

A Facebook post says Engel had a Zoom meeting with Premier Jason Kenney on Wednesday.

“If you happen to know people in your community doing cool things, consider nominating them for this award. Likely, they’re not doing it for the recognition, but it may make their heart feel nice,” said the post.

For more information on the program, visit

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