Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Sewing for a good cause

Hi, hi, hi.

In my previous post, I mentioned how I'd been busy with Christmas themed projects but how I'd finally sent off the last one and could move on from anything distracting me from the [relative] warmth of the summer.

So how did it come to pass that I spent a whole day last week making fleecy hats and scarves?

You might remember me mentioning this before but for once I really don't mind repeating myself.

Earlier in the year my good friend Helen emailed me upon her return home from a holiday with her family, all fired up and wanting to talk. She wanted to tell me about something she'd seen .... but it wasn't anything I might have anticipated, it wasn't related to the magnificent scenery around her or something on the tourist trail, no. Far from it.

Directed by a waitress from the hotel she was staying in, Helen visited a vital yet struggling breakfast club for local children in the developing area she was staying, where, off the beaten path, this [in H's own words] is what she saw:

"What I saw just about broke my heart. 350 children, 70 of them newborns, in a straw-roofed hut, crouching around a tiny fire in the middle of the room, none of them with proper coats or hats, the temperature there around 8 degrees. Some of them clutching a bit of bread, most of them empty handed, all with an awful ‘hungry’ look mapped all over their faces.

The waitress – Amparo – told me that most of them don’t have warm clothes to wear and that they mostly go without food because it’s a poor community and they don’t receive help from the Government."

And this didn't sit well at all with her caring nature and sense of justice so she decided to do something about it. And fortunately for those children, doing something is H's default position and she put the following call for help out on her blog - Favourite Work of Art:

“i can do something about this. i have crafty friends, access to several craft forums, and i can ask them to knit scarves." "or to knit gloves or hats." "or to donate wool/needles so the mums of these children can feel they can do something for their children by knitting things for them."
" i could make a difference, a very real difference, in the lives of these children…"
"i could do lots of tiny things for these children that would make a very real difference in their lives……”.
And, if you ask me, she is making a difference. There are now crafter's across the country - maybe even the world - who've read her plea and have picked up their knitting needles in response.

And even those non-knitters amongst us can help out too! I can't knit, so I bought 2 fleecy throws/blankets instead and turned them into 6 scarves and eight hats!

So now you know why I gladly spent a warm July day indoors, sewing. It's worth it. In fact, it was a pleasure.
It was during sewing day with my friends and we'd booked a room in the community centre so we could all bring our machines, spread out our fabrics and generally spend time in each other's company. Plus we had cupcakes and tea and gossip and laughter.
And the irony of this fantastic and privileged environment versus that of the community centre visited by Helen was not lost on me. Not at all.

If you'd like to help out, all you need to do is have a read here - it's Helen's original post which contains all the details. In short, if you want to make something, she will contact you with the UK address of someone who has volunteered to pay the international postage costs to get your items over to the children.
Thanks for dropping in, for hanging around and for listening today.
See you soon.


  1. They look great Julie. I wonder how many kids we'll get "hatted up" altogether.

  2. Wow they look really fab all laid out. You were very busy on Friday. Now what will you tackle next sewing class?

  3. what a great days work and for such a great cause. I don't knit either but can sew and my mum knits and sews, so (that's a lot of sews/so's) between us we should be able to help out too,

    Colette x.

  4. Hi Julie,

    Here is a link to my blog to show you what I came up with http://inkpaperandpaint.blogspot.com/2010/08/its-for-charity-mate.html

    Colette x.


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