We’ve been keeping busy

Hi everyone,

Well it’s been a while since I last sent an email out to everyone… and we’ve had a lot going on in the background.

 

Thai hospital
This pic was after the 3 days on oxygen and hydration…

My last email was sent as I was heading to the airport for our 2 month motorcycle ride around Vietnam and Thailand (which was awesome, apart from that little stint I had in the Thai hospital… good thing I had my crochet with me). Since we’ve been home, we have shifted house twice, and now settled in to a great apartment in the city centre – and more importantly have had numerous wonderful things happen for Crafty Volunteers that have kept me busy…

 

Charity Yarn Stash

I’m thrilled to see the growing number of Charity Yarn Stash Coordinators joining us in their regions, and the amount of people joining and getting involved with the Charity Yarn Stash Facebook Group. Huge thanks to the coordinators for continuing to grow this network, and for supporting crafting in your region.

You might have seen that we received a massive donation of yarn here in Wellington (6 car loads), and it’s been gradually dispersed around the country to our coordinators, with the last of it going out in the next 10 days.

Pukekohe
delivering 4 big bags of yarn to Pukekohe

It was lovely to meet Margaret (briefly) in Pukekohe a couple of weeks ago (when hubby and I drove up for a family funeral). She ensured that the coordinators in Whangarei, Auckland and Hamilton have all received their share. I also got to meet a friend of Lisa’s from Tauranga who was in Wellington and took some bags home for Lisa to distribute around the Bay of Plenty. My friends Annabelle and Fiona have delivered yarn to Wanganui and Taranaki when they have been passing through, which has been further distributed in to Feilding and beyond. And a cousin of mine who regularly drives between Wellington and Christchurch for work, filled up his van to get a significant volume of the yarn down to Barbara in Chch, who is distributing to coordinators around Chch, Ashburton, Blenheim, and is helping to finalise coordinators in Dunedin and Invercargill soon. I’m doing a road trip this weekend to meet and give yarn to new coordinators in Carterton, Eketahuna and Palmerston North. And of course the Wgtn/Hutt/Kapiti based coordinators have all had a few bags to spread around their networks too. It’s incredible to think that this huge volume has been spread to all corners of the country without a cent being spent of courier costs.

Massive donation
one donation of yarn

I doubt that we will ever receive another donation that massive again, and I want to thank my friend Mo for thinking of us when she was clearing out her aunt’s house when she shifted into a rest home. The amount of items that crafters around the regions will be able to produce from it will make a huge difference to lots of charities, and more importantly, to the end recipients. Please extend our enduring gratitude to auntie Margaret from all of the Crafty Volunteers crafters.

In most cases we won’t have donations of that volume that need to be sent to all parts of the country. However, we are always happy to receive donations – from a few part balls to bags of full balls – because the coordinators in each region will find someone who can use it for something. And because we don’t want people to be incurring costs to courier yarn and finished items around the country, our motto is “local yarn donations, being used by local crafters, for local charities”. If you have (or hear of) surplus yarn that can be donated, please contact your closest Charity Yarn Stash Coordinator who will be happy to receive it and make it available to crafters in their region.

Finally, if you love what the amazing team of coordinators are doing, and you’re interested in being a coordinator in your region, please drop me an email to find out more info. If there are already coordinators in your region, I’m sure they will love to have to on board to help out. And if there are no coordinators in your region yet, maybe you can get a team around you. The more the merrier I say…

NPO Hackathon

Last month, Crafty Volunteers was fortunate enough to be selected as one of four charities in Wellington to have a team of 6 volunteer IT people working on solving technical problems or providing new solutions. I got to spend Friday night and all day Saturday/Sunday working with an amazing team of people who have helped to improve some of our back end systems.

Hackathon
my team of techy people

The technical skills that these amazing people have is equal only to the amount of enthusiasm that they showed for what Crafty Volunteers is wanting to achieve. There were numerous times over the weekend that they were telling me what solutions they were proposing, and I was looking blankly back at them, cos I’m sure they were talking a different language to me. They were all gracious enough to dumb down the technical speak so I could understand it, and I learned so much – it was truly an amazing weekend.

One change that was made, is to the email database, which will save me huge amounts of time when sending these emails out. In my “wisdom” when I set the database up, I thought it would be a good idea to create 20 different email accounts for the 20 regions (based on DHBs) that we have split in to. What that meant was that every time I sent an email out, I was copying and pasting the content and uploading the photos 20 different times (which would take about 4 hours to send an email newsletter, and that was after I’d written the content and selected the photos).

The other system is a bit more technical, and some of the team have been quietly working away on it since the event. I hope to be able to announce it in the near future – watch this space…

Huge thanks to Auckland based company Impact NPO for running the event (there is another one coming up in Chch soon), and to my awesome team of techy people. Love your work!!

Community Awards

What a huge honour it was to receive a nomination and then to get selected as a finalist for the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards. This is an annual awards presentation sponsored by Wellington Airport, Wellington City Council and Wellington Community Trust. There were numerous categories, and some very impressive nominees.

Award
Community Award – so proud!

Crafty Volunteers was a finalist in the “Health and Wellbeing” category along with 16 other awesome charities and community organisations. When I realised the caliber of the other finalists, I was blown away that we would be considered amongst such an amazing cohort. When we were announced as Runner Up, you have no idea just how excited I was to be receiving an award in recognition of all the hard work that you all do for your communities – so I want to thank each and every one of you for your contributions, whether you are on our board of Trustees, are one of our regional Coordinators, are one of the people who helps and supports me in the background, or are one of the many crafters that make an item or two for your favourite charity – this award is shared with each and every one of you.

The charity that won the award in our category was the Sisters of Compassion Soup Kitchen, who have been doing their amazing work for over 100 years, and who went on to win the Supreme Award (winner of the winners) – hugest congratulations to them!

 

Vinnie CV Award
Vinnies ReSew and Crafty Volunteers

Probably the thing that I was most delighted about was that the team at Vinnies ReSew were also finalists in the category of “Heritage and Environment” for the incredible work that they do – and they also received runner up! This is wonderful recognition of crafting as a recognised community activity, and will hopefully encourage more crafters to pick up their needles/hooks or machines and get involved with crafting for their communities.

 

Attending events

Another thing that’s been keeping me busy, is the events that we’ve been attending and/or presenting at.

Crafty Volunteers hosted a World Wide Knit In Public Day event at Wellington Library in June, and we’ve got some great plans for next year – that we’ll let you know about in the new year.

In the last couple of months I’ve spoken at a Rotary group as well as several Clothing Swap events, and I’m booked to speak at a few other groups in the coming weeks. If you

Fibrefest
chatting to people at Capital Fibrefest

have a group that’s Wellington based (or close enough that I can drive to over a weekend – remember that I work full time…), I’ll happily come and talk to your group about what Crafty Volunteers does, and see what we can do to help your cause.

Rosie, Rachel and Vicky (some of our Hutt based coordinators) and I attended the Capital Fibrefest exhibition recently. What a fun day we had meeting people, talking to them about Crafty Volunteers, and finding out what crafting they do. Oh and of course we got to spend the day with load of lovely squishy colourful yarns… who wouldn’t want to do that for a day!!??

Keeping in touch

Please remember to tell your crafty friends and family about us – they can either keep in touch on the Crafty Volunteers Facebook Page, join the Charity Yarn Stash Facebook Group, or check out the Crafty Volunteers website.

We are aware that our demographic of crafters is pretty vast – from 7 year olds at school, to 97 year olds who have never used a computer, to everybody in between who may have access to all or none of the various social media communications. With that in  mind, we will be using this email platform a lot more going forward, so that we can reach as many crafters and charities as we can. If you’re a family member of a child or elderly crafter, it would be great if you could join our mailing list so that you can perhaps print off and share our message with them.

…Until next time…

Well, I guess that enough of an update for now… next time we’ll be hearing from Rosie who is one of our Hutt Valley based coordinators about a local promotion that she is just wrapping up; and I’ll be announcing a nationwide promotion that we are finalising the last details on that will run through until early November.

Happy crafting everybody!

Yours – with love, compassion and hope

Maggie

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