When I retired in 2011, I joined a group called Knitting for Brisbane’s Needy ( K4BN). This group made items of warm clothing for distribution by various groups and charities who give support to the needy in the community. As well as warm clothing, knitted and crocheted blankets and quilts, the group provided toiletries, sewn garments, knitted, crocheted or sewn toys and various other items such as school supplies that could help make people’s lives a little happier. The group had been started by Karen Croke who had seen a need in the community to help community organisations who endeavored to help the plight of the needy and disadvantaged in not only Brisbane, but also Queensland wide. Karen was helped by her husband Peter and I believe the group started with just a few people but the numbers increased as the word spread.
The group had a number of Knit and Natter groups, which provided a social gathering as well as a collection point for donations. Over the last 16 years the group has distributed hundreds of thousands of items.
At one stage in the last 10 years, I was a member of 5 Knit and Natters. One in a private home was disbanded about 5 years ago and a new venue was never found. Then in recent years I’ve had more calls on my time to do ‘Grandma Duty’ so not so many K&Ns for me.
I’ve made lots of new friends over these years, been given lots of ideas and patterns by others and have had a thoroughly enjoyable time.
But a few years ago, illness struck Karen…a severe illness at that. Then early this year Peter was also struck down by illness.
So it really wasn’t a big surprise that in April this year it was announced that K4BN would be wound up. It was obviously a big decision and not one made lightly or without much soul searching.
In a conversation with Peter, he indicated to me that they had decided to completely close and not merely do a handover to someone else to run this completely voluntary organization. In the 16 years he and Karen had built up a well deserved reputation of being reliable, as well as being supportive, compassionate and caring towards those who were doing it tough in our communities. They feared that if run/managed by others who didn’t have the same commitment to the needy, then the reputation they had built up would be tarnished. They just didn’t want to run that risk.
Sure enough, after that announcement they were inundated with offers to take over. Eventually Karen wrote a post which I copied and saved at the time because it really showed how much this couple had done over the years…a lot of it, quietly in the background. I’ve masked the name of the member, who had suggested how the group should be run as Karen addressed this to her.