Knitting Communities Together 03-Aug-2011

August 3, 2011 10:05 pm

There has been a heart-warming response to our Communities Knitting Together project to support Cantabrians after the earthquakes, with donations pouring in from members and friends all over the country. 

Thousands of warm knitted items have been distributed to those in need.

Canterbury councillor, Kerry Maw, has delivered several mini-van loads of beautifully-knitted warm items to community, church and school contacts who’ve been giving them out as quickly as they’ve arrived.

“Some of the women had tears in their eyes, they were so overwhelmed,” says Kerry.

Groups who’ve helped distribute the knitting include Birthright, the Salvation Army, the Aranui Community Trust and the Dallington Hub Community Group.  “They have been blown away by the support,” says Kerry.

The mountains of knitting included hats, scarves, jerseys, booties and slippers, as well as knee rugs and peggy square blankets.

The project has united communities, just as Kerry hoped it would.

“I knew there would be a really good response, but I was surprised at just how much people got into it!” 

Alongside Rural Women New Zealand knitters, items have been received from spinners and weavers clubs, Lions and community craft groups.

Cathy from the Aranui Community Trust says the items have been given directly to families in need through their nurses and earthquake co-ordinators, as well as through church groups that the Trust links in with.

“Families are over the moon because it’s really cold here.”

All the items Aranui’s received from our Communities Knitting Together project have been given out, and more can still be used says Cathy.  She says hundreds of beanies and babies bonnets have been distributed.  “Jerseys go as fast as they come in.”

While our Communities Knitting Together project has now finished, if anyone would like to continue knitting for those in need in Christchurch, we have a list of community groups where items can be sent directly.  Please contact national office for details.

[In a box]  Margaret Townsend of Piako-Waikato East provincial promoted the Communities Knitting Together project by word of mouth and through her local community newspaper and was amazed at the number of items she received.

A mammoth one hundred and eight boxes were filled with knitting, blankets and warm clothing that arrived from neighbours, friends, family and the wider community.  A local carrier transported the knitting and clothing to Canterbury free of charge.  Many of the donations simply arrived on Margaret’s doorstep, but she also drove to places she’s never been before to pick up knitting, she says.  “I am sure [the great response] was because we were Rural Women.  It was absolutely brilliant.”

[In a box]  In Tauranga, members decided to support Glassons’ project to sell black and red scarves as a Canterbury earthquake fundraiser.  “We have so far knitted 25 red and black scarves,” says Mary McTavish.  “As well as this we have been busy knitting supporting the “Communities Knitting Together” campaign.  We delivered to the local Red Cross offices in Tauranga 280 items of hand knitting including teddy bears, beanies, hats, scarves, slippers and children’s jumpers.”  Great work Tauranga members!

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