Friday, July 27, 2007

Knitting for the Homeless in AU

I received this email today from a Scrapper's Challenger named Suzan (moralan@optu.....) in Australia who is active in the creative community of charitable knitters there.

She is asking for help in a cause that will help Queensland and Brisbane, Australia's homeless and poor. Lets see what we can do by voting ONCE each for her knitting group to win prize money that will buy more supplies and help pay for the distribution of even more warm items to wear in the coming winter months. Her dedicated knitting group of 123 ladies could win if they get the most daily votes! They are in 3rd place at the moment. It won't cost you a dime to vote and it may help countless people who need it. Let's help push them up in the ranks!

Dearest Rockester,
I belong to this group and we are trying to win some extra cash to help out. Brisbane and southeast Queensland are having a cold winter for our area and as fast as we knit the goods are going. This only costs a few seconds and is genuine. Would it be okay to post to the Scrapper's Challenge group? Please let me know as I don't want to waste time if you feel it goes against the group guidelines. Thanking you,
-----And here is Suzan's message to all of us----
I belong to an online knitting group that distributes knit items to the homeless etc. Anyway it formed a short while ago and with this year being much cooler here, our knit things are made and they are sent out as soon as they are given to us. There is now a waiting list for items. It has grown quickly and we even have ladies in retirement communities knitting as a group activity for the homeless. We supply yarn etc if the charitable knitters cannot afford it. We are working on supplying children's sizes as well as adult. Items have been distributed through specific days at city hall and to a young women's shelter etc.

We are in a subtropical area and it rarely gets cold here. We are having a cold winter with night temps close to zero. Donations have not met demand and to make things worse some of the more traditional groups are refusing to collect items because they don't meet rules. Some of them are so silly such as one yarn type and colour only. I went to a homeless day in the city and we had a few homeless girls came to knit with us and chat. They learned to knit in jail and wanted to make things for gifts for their mothers or children. It was great to give them a pair of needles and a ball of yarn to make a scarf. Most needed a refresher course. We had lots of people collect hats, scarves and blankets. The more colourful the creations the better it seemed. Sometimes we get specific requests. For example the young women's shelter asks for specific items as most of the girls are pregnant.

My quilt group also supports this group but not with quilts.... We give them food etc as they teach the girls to cook. At present we are finding out that whole families are caught short and the children need warm things. People can knit what they want.
We also try very hard to use new items. At present we are working towards another homeless day in the city centre. It will be in November. Some of us are making face cloths and we are collecting toiletries like crazy. We are scratching our heads to come up with something that is helpful and original. By then the nights will be around 22 Celsius and the need for woollies will be less.

In around 18 months over 2000 items have been donated. These are distributed directly or through shelters or other organisations. Sometimes organisations visit our meetings. Things have been distributed through soup kitchens etc too. Everything is sent to a lady who then distributes directly to the charities. I loved the Homeless Connect day in the city as we put things out and people could choose what they needed and liked.

Did you know there are an estimated 10 000 homeless in the middle of Brisbane?

Our knitting group leader applied for a $5000 prize in this contest online to help out. To our surprise, we are among the last ten.

Now we need MANY votes. So if you are willing please vote . It seems to allow one vote only (It may be one time only voting-- I am not sure). So follow the link and vote on the Brisbane's needy.
see it at bottom of this link page and vote for # 4 in this contest.

(Please vote and ask others to as well since it seems to be one vote per IP address.)

It is sponsored by online magazine

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