…..well no of course it won’t, but it may well make the world a warmer cosier place.
I‘m sure that faced with the images of fleeing refugees trying to escape danger starvation, horror and war, many of us have wondered what we can do to help. I’m sure too, that many knitters have heard and taken on board the old chestnut that, ‘ knitting it never the correct response’. Is that true? Of course not, but there are many things to bear in mind.
Firstly, for a non-knitting response, I’d recommend reading this article for the Independent, for simple, solid ways to help. Also there are many non governmental organisations addressing the situation, such as Oxfam, Cafod and the Red Cross.
Now you’re a knitter, you have wool, you have needles, you want to knit, what can you do that will be truly useful?
First a warning, Stacey of the wonderful Fresh Stitches blog has some cautionary words of warning.
That being said there are things that can be knit, that are useful. Knit for Peace is a UK charity that does collect knitted goods for a variety of causes, one of which is the refugee crisis, they have proper infrastructure to ensure that the goods collected are properly distributed where they are needed. They have information on their website about what items are needed and how to donate them.
At the moment, there are many local collections for refugees. Many schools and churches are taking part and most will have lists of items that they are looking for. My husband’s school is collecting for refugees at Calais, there’s a lorry donated by Vauxhall doing the rounds and taking, those items collected to a distribution centre to be dealt with in an organised fashion, of the many things they are asking for are hats, gloves, socks, jumpers and hoodies – all of which could be knitted. A good rule of thumb that I’m sure many of us follow in all sorts of situations is don’t give what you wouldn’t be happy to receive, and that hold good here just as it does for Christmas presents.
Anyone who follows me on Instagram or Facebook will know that my knitting works in progress have been shoved aside while I’m working on a hat pattern that I’m planning on selling to raise money for Migrant Offshore Aid Station, a privately funded charity that rescues migrants at sea. I’m working on the New Hope Hat, at the moment it’s in testing, if you’d like to be part of that please contact me either at theresashinglerknits (at) gmail .com or via Ravelry where I’m babybee. This is an Aran weight hat that will be available in sizes Child (Adult S,M, L) to fit head circumference 46 (51, 56, 61) cm [18 (20, 22, 24) inches ], all sizes should use less than 100g of Aran. I’ve got five hats knit up thus far that will go off to Calais and then any other that I complete after Thursday I’ll send off to Knitting for Peace.
So my take on the research that I’ve done on this into this issue,
- If I’ve got money to donate, I should donate that, not buy yarn to knit a donation – well obviously!!! I’m preaching to the choir here aren’t I?
- Look for reputable well organised groups to donate to, I don’t want my hand knit languishing in someone garage because the logistics got too much for them.
- Look at what is being asked for and provide that, in the sizes, colours and materials asked for.
- Donate to what makes me feel good; there are so many good and worthy causes, none of us can donate to everything, there is nothing wrong with having a bit of a warm glow about my efforts, it doesn’t negate the good.
- Look for local. Now this may or may not work against the second and fourth point, but bear in mind whether there is a local cause or collection point that can make use of my item. It would be shame if money that could be spent alleviating suffering directly was eaten up by shipping costs.
Yes, just common sense!