This discussion aims to give you an up-close and personal look at what happens on opening days at the Knit-a-Square barn. I'm a partially-sighted volunteer who who attends with my guide dog Tango and my driver Bongi, who has also become a keen volunteer. While everyone else opens parcels, sorts squares and packs items ready for distribution, I listen and take mental notes so I can pass on something of the atmosphere on the ground. Enjoy!
Thank you Leanne, for bringing us all together in such a special way.
Thomas, you are a gift. A gift to KAS and we love you for being there.
Thank you so much for giving us important background information on Thomas.
Glad that there are 500 blankets waiting to be collected for distributions, more on the way in shipments, I am sure.
You and all the volunteers please stay warm. Wish I had some of that chilly weather here. Summer heat of Texas is turned on full blast at the moment.
Thank you Leanne that was a great report. Happy to hear that 500 blankets are expected soon. I'm crossing paws like Wendy that the completed one I sent a few weeks ago arrives quickly!
Here in the UK we are into our 3rd week of unexpected heatwave - however, we all know the rigours the children are facing and very much appreciate your description and the letter of thanks. Thank you for sharing more with regard Thomas - hopefully, we can provide him with a weekly stipend to ensure that we retain his kind services and support. Thanks Leanne, it gives us a clear idea of what the team are dealing with.
Thank you for another fabulous, informative report, Leanne. I loved reading of Thomas and all he is doing for Ronda and KAS and then the experiences of the 'visitors' to the barn.
You are a Godsend, dear Leanne ! We love having you and Bongi and Tango in the KASbarn every 2 weeks and your enthusiasm renews our own each time ! Thank you so much for always being warm and kind and interested xoxoxo
Thank you Leanne for your heartwarming and comprehensive report. I knew Thomas is needed for the parcels and driving and making photos, but what I wasn't aware of is that he is doing a lot more! He really can't be missed! So good to be informed by you about what's going on at the KAS Barn, love to read about all the volunteers and the activities, thank you so much.
Your reports from the KAS barn are invaluable, Leanne. It's so important for all of us who are far from SA to be able to read about what happens there, the good things and the less enjoyabl aspects from time to time. Your account of Thomas's contribution to KAS was very enlightening. He has become a pillar helping to keep KAS upright.
Thank you for your marvellous accounts.
Thank you Leanne for your much appreciated report, sharing with us 'life in the KAS barn'. Thomas is clearly is an invaluable member of the wonderful team, thank you Thomas for all that you do; and thanks of course to all the KAS barn family.
As I write this, it's Mandela Day in South Africa. Mandela Day, on July 18 each year, is the day when South Africans are encouraged to honour Madiba's legacy by giving 67 minutes of their time to charity. Of course, many give much more than that, volunteering year-round to make a difference. This year being the 100th anniversary of Mandela's birth, Mandela Day is receiving even more attention than usual.
We are happy to be involved in several Mandela Day projects, some directly but most indirectly.
Wandi is taking 200 sets of blankets, beanies, hand-warmers and toys to 6 different creches in Orange Farm today. Incidentally, the fact that she can do this is rather a miracle because our shelves have been empty for a month. We worried that we wouldn't have enough stock to meet the need, but thankfully the gogo groups came through for us and completed a large supply of blankets which Lindi and Thomas collected last week. It's been a case of instant turnaround which creates some pressure, but at least we're not sitting on stock during the coldest months of the year!
A team of people from Mpact Recycling, where my husband works, sponsored the sewing-up of 100 blankets as part of their Mandela Day activities. They will be taking them, along with 100 beanies, sets of hand-warmers and soft toys to distribute at a site they identified near the company's offices. Samantha, who is overseeing the project, told me yesterday that they were all very excited ahead of the big day. The staff had donated money towards groceries, allowing them to make soup for the children as well. This distribution is intended to launch a long-term involvement by the company with Knit-a-Square in which staff members can participate in the knitting of squares, collection of toys, and provision of warm, knitted items to creches in their area on future Mandela Days. We are delighted with their enthusiasm and kindness.
There is an ongoing postal strike in the country which has delayed the delivery of overseas parcels, unfortunately. We are trusting that it won't go on for too long. Obviously, our members are concerned that their lovingly knitted and crocheted work reaches us soon, and of course, we need the constant supply of squares to keep our gogos busy—not to mention distributing gifts of love to vulnerable children. Thankfully, for now, we are getting by with donations of squares and other items from local church groups and schools.
Finally, here's a heart-warming story to remind us of the spirit of Mandela Day:
A few days ago, Ronda was waiting for her car to be serviced at a garage in Kempton Park,. Being miles from home, she felt frustrated that they were taking so long. She picked up the local Kempton Park newspaper, whereupon her attention was caught by an article about a 10-year-old boy who had saved his family from a house fire. The boy had been studying late at night after his parents and two siblings had gone to bed. He smelt burning from one of the other bedrooms and, realising the danger, woke the family and got them all out. The house had burned down and the family had lost everything, including all the boy's school books.
Our dear Ronda, being kindness personified, tracked down the family and arranged to meet the mother at her place of work. She learnt that the boy is an exceptional student, very bright and conscientious. She also observed that the mother is very committed to her work at a child day care centre that has very little to its name. So, in addition to replacing all the boy's school books out of her own pocket, Ronda promised to return to the day care with blankets, beanies, hand-warmers and toys for all the children.
"And there was me complaining about my car taking so long!" Ronda exclaims. "God obviously had a plan for me being there and picking up that newspaper. Those children at the day care really needed to be blessed by Knit-a-Square. I'm so grateful to have been led there!"
Certainly, we can learn from Ronda's openness to divine guidance on this Mandela Day. I personally regard her as an extraordinary example of compassion. As Estelle said yesterday, "What Ronda has done here is amazing." We can be so thankful for what she and Sandy created through their vision, expertise and generosity.
Thank you Leanne, for sharing with us. A huge thank you to your husband and his colleagues at Mpact Recycling for their contribution to the funds for sewing of blankets by the Gogos and indeed for all their efforts towards their distribution for Mandela Day. :))
Ronda is truly amazing....and I hope that the young man and his family will have somewhere to live.
As always your reports/recounts to us are so uplifting. Thank you.
Agree with Bev's every word!