I'm making and sending blankets to four groups in particular:
This charity runs its Keep a Child Warm campaign, providing blankets and warm clothing to impoverished families in Eastern Europe. They deliver the items themselves, and eighteen months ago one of our Loving Hands members, Julia Odie, went with them to Moldova. Her fascinating account of her trip can be read here. It is so good to know that the items we make go directly to where they are needed.
This charity collects warm knitted items and distributes them via social workers and other agencies to families and individuals that need them in East Yorkshire. Clare, who runs the charity, is an amazing lady who clearly values all the hand made items she receives, and again, she lets you know where your donations have ended up.
This charity provides a pamper gift bag, a heart-shaped cushion and a lap blanket to people in Berkshire who are undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. I have close relatives who live in the Reading area, so I am happy to offer support to Lynne, who runs the charity and who has been through breast cancer herself.
Did you know that the UN estimates that there are over 60 million refugees in the world currently? Actually the figure is probably nearer to 65 million at the moment. That's a huge number of people displaced from their homes by war, hunger or persecution. A lady named Ellen Roche (no relation) came up with the idea of producing a massive blanket containing 60 million treble crochet stitches to draw attention to the plight of refugees worldwide, then dismantling it into its constituent 36 inch square blankets, and giving them to charities in the UK and abroad that support refugees. I must admit that I thought long and hard before deciding to make blankets for this group, because to have so many completed blankets sitting around when there is such need seems a bit perverse. But I accept that the publicity aspect is important, and the plan is to have the huge blanket made and then dismantled by the end of the summer, so that the blankets can be distributed in time for next winter. So far almost 20 million trebles have been made for this cause - one stitch one life.
And my latest effort:
This will be a lap blanket for Chemogiftbags; I'm hoping that its cheery colours will give some comfort to the recipient.