Our wonderful global knit-a-square volunteers
You, who have taken up our crochet and knitting project, with extraordinary generosity, are our primary and most important volunteers.
To date you have crafted and sent with love and beautiful messages for knit-a-square nearly half a million squares and knitted items of clothing.
You are individuals, school and church communities, university groups and aged care organizations. We remain indebted to you all for the charity work you continue to do to warm and comfort these vulnerable and orphaned children so greatly in need of your love.
Knit-a-square – South Africa
When we started what we thought would be 'just a wee knitting project!', in October 2008, resulting in just a few hundred squares. This would allow Ronda Lowrie (co-founder of Knit-a-square, pictured right) to make a few blankets herself and then distribute them to the children in the streets as she passed, instead of the cheap blankets she had been buying.
We have Lion Brand in the United States, who published an article about us in February 2009, to thank for the fact that, wonderfully, our story is much richer. Thousands, then tens of thousands and now hundreds of thousands of squares have arrived. It was clear, very soon, that Ronda alone would not be able to cope with the volume.
She had been working with women from
through her own church parish to uplift parishes in Soweto, and so over time several women came forward to help her open the parcels.
Lindi and Wandi
Two women, Lindiwe Ngwenya and Wandile Mkhwanazi have become permanent volunteers.
They, together with a band of caring, committed parish friends of Ronda's, including KasCare members or their relatives who make contact with us from time to time, form the hardworking core of our team in South Africa.
They open the parcels, sort the squares from the hats and jumpers, collate the garments in to sizes, bundle the squares into 50s, make blanket bundles for sewing groups. They teach and oversee the stitching of the blankets. Ronda and Erin record the opening of all the parcels.
Wandile scours the streets of the shack settlements near her home in Soweto. She searches out children who are orphaned or alone, and creche's and communities where there is a high level of vulnerable or orphaned children for distributions of blankets.
Lindiwe does the same through her parish. This way we can be sure that the blankets are being wrapped around the children who most need them.
We are also helped greatly by collaborated
with the South African division of G4S, a large British security company. G4S looks after many prisons in South Africa and we are currently sending squares to the inmates to sew into blankets. Wendy Hardy, Public Relations Manager of G4S, has become a dedicated knit-a-square supporter herself, opening parcels with her family over the weekends.
In time, we imagine our volunteer base will have to grow substantially to cope with the increasing volume of the charity work we receive. What a wonderful problem to have! At present our resources are stretched to the limit, so we are working hard to collect sufficient funds to employ a manager in South Africa.
We are deeply indebted to any of you who feel you can help with a regular donation to achieve this aim.
Roger, my husband and I (co-founder of knit-a-square) work between us in a nearly full time, voluntary capacity for KasCare. We have implemented the concept and managed its growth. We have also written, designed and built the websites all aimed at finding and nurturing our committed and vibrant online community. We also handle press and media, print collateral and fund-raising.
From L-R, Sunny Blumson (Cressida's husband), Cressida, Zanny Blew (my mother, Kalai and Sandy. at the World KASOTG (knit-a-square-on-the-go) day 2009 Roger was taking the picture!
It is our goal to raise sufficient funds over time to draw a small remuneration for this work.
We attribute our success in building this dedicated community to the work of some truly remarkable women.
We are fortunate to have among us many women, who unsolicited have, over the years come up with ideas to grow our community, fund raise, widen our reach, raise awareness and further help the children.
Many of these women have been formally enrolled as forum moderators in Square Circle and in Ravelry. Many more just keep on contributing, patterns, challenge ideas and concepts. Some of our early moderators were written about in Knit-a-square Heroes, while many of our newer mods are still to be added to the Hero’s gallery.
In time, each of these women and their remarkable, tireless enthusiasm for KasCare and the children we seek to help, will be documented, with gratitude, for their selfless dedication to support KasCare. If you join the forum, you will meet them all.
Recently we started to pay small stipends to Lindiwe and Wandile for their ceaseless and committed work.
Ronda's daugher, Erin (pictured to the right) is similarly paid in her position as part time assistant, as is our daughter, Kalai, who works part time as donor co-ordinator and administrator. She also runs the Facebook group.
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Square Circle ezine
for stories of you, our wonderful volunteers.
Click here for the knitting project instructions.