Well, here we are, nearing the end of summer holidays, and nearing the end of the first month of 2018 – where did January go??
Womens Weekly article
Well, I have to say that I’m very humbled by the response to the Womens Weekly article (about how Crafty Volunteers got started) that ran a couple of weeks ago – many thanks to those that commented on it on Facebook, those that shared it with your friends, and to those that contacted us directly after reading the magazine. To say that it’s been a busy few weeks as a result, is somewhat of an understatement…
Crafty Volunteers is a group effort – from the many people who attend the crafting groups that we host, to the individual crafters at home and the crafting groups around the country who make the most amazing things for the various charities that need items for their people, and not forgetting of course, the many people I repeatedly call on for all sorts of support – from admin assistance, to pick up and delivery services, to storing goods, to being a sounding board for my ideas (both good and bad), as well as our awesome Board of Trustees – this recognition is for each and every one of you.
If you didn’t see the article, feel free to read a scanned copy of it HERE.
My hope with this article, is that it will sit in doctors and dentists waiting rooms for many months to come, and that there will be a continuing trickle of new interest in what we do for some time.
Justice Green Project
I’ve spent this week working on some new pages for the website – to provide a load more information about the projects that we promote. We have a new page for the Justice Green Project that will provide more information for people that want to be involved. This project will be ongoing for probably most of this year as there is a significant amount of yarn to craft up.
We will be starting to distribute yarn to crafting groups around the country in the next few weeks, so if your group is keen to get in on this, please do drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org asking for yarn.
Our projects are about locals making for locals, and it’s so great to be slowly growing our database of crafters nationwide. If you know people that would be interested in being involved in a nationwide community of people crafting for charity, please do forward on this email and invite them to join the email list for their region. As we grow, and as we get to know more about what’s happening in other regions, the emails (which I’m hoping will be every 2-3 weeks) will become more regionally specific.
The more “crafty” people that we can connect with, the more fabulous creations can be made for the charities and organisations that do such great work for people in need around New Zealand.
I missed the first couple of days of this media frenzy (as I don’t really watch/read the news), but I happened to catch her being phone interviewed on Thursday morning on Breakfast TV. My personal feeling of Jack Tame’s expression and tone, was a little mocking – that he thought that knitting baby things was a bit stupid.
During the interview Jack mentioned that Heather was now living in Pittsburgh USA, and I wondered if anybody was actually turning the “tweet” into a reality – so I contacted her and was delighted to learn that loads of people were taking up the challenge – knitters, crocheters, sewers, quilters were all getting involved. She was blown away by the media attention – at the time I contacted her, she had just been interviewed by the BBC!
The next thing I wondered was whether anybody had asked Jacinda if she was ok with the idea, and was delighted to see later in the day that she had made a media announcement that she was more than happy for people to be making gifts the babies in need, in honour of her baby.
As I’ve followed this over the last few days, I’ve been very interested in people’s comments, both supportive and not depending on their own political opinions, and whether that have really understood the concept of the idea.
My feeling is, that because this promotion will generate more charity crafting for hospitals and baby related organisations around the country, then it’s a massive win-win. Not only do the charities and the end recipients win, but it’s a massive boost in awareness for the concept of crafting, and in particular for charity crafting – which is something I’m personally delighted about.
I wonder whether those that smirk at the thought of crafting for charitable causes, actually understand that it’s worth many millions of dollars every year to the health and poverty sector, and that an awareness campaign like this will bring many more crafters in to the “industry”. Regardless of who this promotion is in honour of – I think the media attention created by it, is absolutely awesome!
If you’re making items for the #knitforjacinda movement (or making baby related items independently of the movement, like so many of you already do), and you’re wondering where to get them to, please do feel free to contact us to help you find a charity or organisation in your local area. Or we could point you in the direction of a crafting group in your area that already has a connection with the charities.
Charity Yarn Stash
Another thing that’s been keeping me busy this week is gathering a group of people together to help receive, sort, store and distribute the yarn that gets donated to Crafty Volunteers. As we are based in Wellington, we will often receive donations of yarn from various places around the country. Ideally, I’d love to find people who are happy to help manage the “charity stash” on a local level in all areas of the country.
I’ve just finalised a page on our website called “Yarn Stash” where we have compiled a list of coordinators who will help maintain the donated yarn distribution on a local level. This will also make it easier for crafters (especially those that are financially restricted and/or mobility restricted) to get access to yarns when they are available. In Greater Wellington, we already have numerous awesome people who have put their hand up to support us with this – thanks so much for getting involved so quickly.
Some of these ladies are members of existing crafting groups, and we are keen for them to share the stash with their group as well as their local community – we don’t mind who has access to it, just as long as it gets made into charity items.
If you are interested in helping in your area (or maybe your crafting group is already doing this), please drop us an email on email@example.com with your details (name, suburb, phone # and email address) so we can get them added to the web page, and so we can send local yarn donations your way.
As I’ve previously mentioned, our reach outside of Wellington isn’t huge, however this is something that we are very focused on for this year, and we would love your assistance with this.
It seems my mantra for this year is “locals helping locals” and having a charity yarn stash network all around the country really reinforces the communication and community connection that we are aiming to achieve with Crafty Volunteers.
Crafting Groups around New Zealand
One of our aims is to be the “go to” place for crafters to look to find crafting groups / events around New Zealand. To our knowledge, there isn’t a full Directory of Crafting Groups anywhere in NZ, and we are looking to address that gap in information. In the future, any time people visit, or shift to a new location, or if they are new to crafting, they will be able to connect with like minded people, simply by checking the National Directory of Crafting Groups / Calendar of Events that we will continue to populate on our website.
This is where we need your help!! Please do tell us of any crafting groups around the country that you’re aware of, so we can get them included in the Directory. This includes knitting and crochet groups, as well as sewing and quilting groups.
We encourage you to take a look at the Events page on the website for the full years schedule, or check out the Current Events on the Crafty Volunteers Charitable Trust of New Zealand Facebook Page. We are adding more all the time, so please do check back regularly.
Because we list and promote crafting events that are run by local crafting groups, please ensure you contact the person indicated in the event details for more information.
And of course, if you would like your crafting group added, please send all the details to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Send us your pics
We love the way Instagram will immediately post to our Facebook page (more bang for your social media buck!), and we love receiving pics of the fabulous items that have been made for charity. Crafty people really do enjoy seeing other crafters beautiful work, as it’s always wonderfully inspiring.
If you’ve got any pics that we can put on Instagram/Facebook, please send them to email@example.com with a little bit of info about the item and/or your group – so we can share them with everybody. Please do remember to check with any individuals that are captured in the picture, that they are happy for us to put their image out there.
I look forward to hearing from some crafting groups around the country, that are keen to get involved with the Justice Green project… and by the time of the next email (in mid/late February), we hope to be ready to launch another nationwide crafting project that you can all join in with.
Enjoy the last few days of January.
Yours – with love, compassion and hope
Please help us spread the word…
We’d love to reach as many crafters in New Zealand as we can, so that we can help as many charities and organisations do their great work in providing for those in need.
Many hands make light work… thank you for all that you do!