Well we’ve had a pretty good winter this year. In Wellington at least, we have had it pretty mild up until this last week or so, where it’s been particularly cold. The cold snap serves to remind us that we need to do what we can to keep our feet warm and our babies cosy.
With that in mind, I thought I’d do a profile on one of the organisations that will help distribute some of the items that get made as part of our “Singlets and Slippers” promotion…
We’ve known about the amazing team at Wrap Up Our Schools for a couple of years now, and we featured them in a blog/email back in July 2017 as part of our “12 weeks of crafting” promotion. They do some amazing work to keep kids all around New Zealand toasty and warm, and we are very proud to have a collaborative relationship with them.
You’ll find a few links to some slipper patterns in the blog, if you’re interested.
Bianca is the mother of Arabella (the creator of Wrap Up Our Schools) and also one of our wonderful Regional Coordinators for Crafty Volunteers. She kindly put together this update about WUOS…
Wrap Up Our Schools
#Knitworking for better communities
Wrap Up Our Schools was created in 2015, when we spotted a gap in charity crafting for school aged children. Since then WUOS volunteers have knitted for schools and pre-schools around the country; Hamilton to Hawkes Bay, Whanganui to Wellington, Nelson to Christchurch, and Dunedin to Invercargill. We have parcelled and sent off around 1000 pairs of slippers, as well as hats, gloves and twiddle muffs. We work to support other initiatives in the young children sector, and have sent blankets, toys, vests and mittens to other charities.
In the beginning:
Arabella started this cottage volunteer knitting group with support from her, family and friends. Arabella is largely housebound due to chronic illness and constant pain. Craft as a vehicle for successful mindfulness and pain management is now well documented and used in mainstream medicine.
Fostering links with the outside world when life is lived mainly in isolation under a duvet, is difficult. Through WUOS she contributes to her wider community; helps those less fortunate and forges links with like-minded people, all through her love of crafting.
And so …. Slippers:
Studies have shown the positive impacts of wearing slippers in the classroom; influencing emotional, physical, and educational success. Arabella liked the idea of supporting children to be more compassionate, keeping them warm and helping them to learn. Hence slippers became our thing.
Slippers ticked all the boxes for helping in the community while being reasonably straight forward to knit. They are a forgiving piece of clothing so new knitters, rushed knitters, acrylic knitters, and gauge challenged knitters (such as myself!) are all able to contribute positively.
Our work this year continues; wrapping Raetihi School, as well as supporting Kiwi Family Trust in providing slippers and hats to Keith Street School. Looking forward to 2020, Bishopdale School, who we wrapped up this year, has nominated Northcote School in Christchurch. A preschool in Nelson is on the list and we are expecting to help some schools in Rotorua, after that we will see what the year brings!
Singlets and Slippers events – Saturday 12 October 2019
We are looking to have a number of events around the country to showcase crafting in our community, and some of our Regional Coordinators are gathering together a team of helpers and looking for venues – we will let you know which regions are holding events as they get things finalised. If you’re keen to assist with running an event, please do contact your local coordinator to offer your help – it will be gratefully received.
Newlands Community Centre, 9 Batchelor St, Newlands – 10am til 5 pm
I’m told that some faithful crafters from the Wairarapa, Kapiti and the Manawatu are planning on coming down to join us, so it’s going to be a fun day.
I’ll fill you in on some more details as we get closer…
To help with distributing your crafted items to the most appropriate charities, we encourage you to use these swing tags to attach to each item you’ve made. That way, the charities know what the item is made from, and the end recipient knows how to best care for the item.
If you’ve got a printer that can print on to (at least 120gsm) card, feel free to pop in to the “files” section of the Charity Yarn Stash Group on Facebook, or go to our Dropbox file to get the A4 document.
If you don’t have the ability to print, cut and hole punch them, we invite you to send a stamped, self addressed envelope to us, along with a note stating your phone number and email address (in case we need to contact you), and how many of these bundles of 20 tags you would like.
We would love it if you are able to pop a donation in the envelope too, to cover printing costs, and so we can supply these tags to our financially restricted crafters at no cost.
Please send your stamped, self addressed envelope to Crafty Volunteers, c/- Mt Vic Hub, 24e Elizabeth St, Mount Victoria, Wellington 6011.
Your Regional Coordinators will have access to a supply of them in due course too.
Until next time
That’s it for now – keep warm, and happy crafting everyone.
Yours – with love, compassion and hope