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Saturday, June 11, 2011

On my mind...those less fortunate than me!

A throw I knitted for someone who was terminally ill...very sad

A throw I made for my friend Lee but her cat, Sabrina Maud thinks I made it for her!
I love to knit! Mum taught me when I was 7 and I knitted for years...then was delighted when knitting became 'cool and trendy' a few years ago...I have joined 2 groups who knit items for charities. The first group I joined was K4BN (Knitting for Brisbane's Needy) and the other group is an Australia-wide group Knit4charities. Recently my city, Brisbane, and a nearby city Ipswich had days where warm clothes and other items were handed out to needy recipients. The floods here in January have made the number of needy people swell and then there are the people who were affected by Cyclone Yasi.
Karen Croke who is the organiser of K4BN wrote yesterday of another group of people who benefited from donations of knitted goods. These people live in a caravan (trailer) park, Hope Community, but it's a bit different from the norm. I asked Karen if I could use her report as there is a poignancy about what happened...

'We did another "desperate needs" run today. Oh my goodness, I wish you could have seen the face of the manageress when she saw what we had. Then some of the residents came to help unload and you could see they were as keen as mustard to see what was in the boxes, but Lorraine didn't let them see till everything was offloaded. Then she got Peter to open a couple of boxes and the look on their faces was priceless. Not one of them took anything until Peter asked Lorraine if they could take either a beanie or scarf, to thank them for helping us unload. Would have thought we had given them a million dollars. There were tears, and that was mainly from the couple of men. One guy, about 35 ish said "I can't believe this is new, and handmade, I haven't had anything new since I was about 7!!" It was only a scarf, but the way he held that scarf then I helped him put it around his neck, and he stood about about 2 feet taller I think. Doubt whether he will ever take
it off!!
We had asked Lorraine if she had a use for a TV, we have had an old one here for ages,and she said "yes please", so we took that with us. She sent someone to get a particular lady who came up with her 13 year old son. This lady and her son have only just recently moved into this caravan park (not a normal caravan park, all for very needy people). Anyway the police had taken them to Lorraine to see if Lorraine had a van for them. She had been so badly beaten by her expartner she wasn't expected to live. She got help to get up here from Perth, to get away from the ex. The police have her booked in under a different name, so he can't find her. Anyway, they only have the very barest of essentials, basically what they could carry on the bus from Perth, so when she and her son came up Lorraine asked her if they would like the TV , mainly for the boy (Tyson) as he has a brain tumour and is not in good health. I think anyone who lives within about 20 km radius
would have heard her scream and he just stood there with his mouth WIDE OPEN, tears of joy running down both their faces...guess who joined in as well...yup me!!!  Lorraine was also trying to find some food for them, as they had no money to buy food, her Centrelink payment hasn't started yet...I so wanted to go to the nearest supermarket and buy them some essentials, but Lorraine said no, she had a couple of contacts and would get them some food by late this afternoon. I could go on and on about this place and the wonderful work that Lorraine and her volunteers do for these very needy people. Lots of babies, children and pregnant ladies there too!!!!
The units/vans are as nice as they can be with little finance coming into this group, but they all said the same thing, they are very, very cold places. So blankets, blankets, adult jumpers, beanies, you know all the usual will be very welcome there. When they are at their capacity, which it almost is now, they house up to 600 people...but not all of them are needy apparently. But Lorraine knows who is who, and she won't give to anyone who isn't needy...and give she will, no worries about her selling anything!! A wonderful lady, the biggest heart!
Another thing she did ask, and I know I say we can't take any more preloved items, but books/magazines she said are very much asked for, and she doesn't get many donated.Good condition books suitable for babies, right through to adult men/women, magazines etc will be appreciated by Hope Community too.
Anyway I will probably rave on about this place for ages, so had better go before I bore yu all!!
Thankfully its been a bit warmer today.'

Sure makes me grateful for what I have! I'm off now to get to work and knit some more scarves and beanies!...


Claud said...

Great job Maria!

Maria said...

Thanks Claud! :-)