We've got a new item up in the shop today, specifically in response to some of the feedback in January that you wanted to (a) be able to support the Gogos who do such a fantastic job assembling squares in South Africa, and (b) have more options to make donations for less than $10. We bandied a few ideas back and forth with the SA team, and borrowed a few thoughts from the New Year thread, and we have a few great ideas for new shop items. This is the first of them!
Our wonderful team of Gogos (older women) in South Africa use these sewing kits to make up all of the donated squares into blankets, but that’s not the end of it. A sewing kit also makes it possible for them to repair or even make their own clothes, blankets and other valuable items.
Depending on individual needs and interests, a sewing kit might include some combination of scissors, needles, thread, pins, yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks, fabric, or various other vital crafting tools and materials. Your donation will be helping these women to help us, and to help themselves.
For just $9, you can purchase one of these sewing kits now from the Sewing Kit page on the KAS shop.
* Please note $9 is strictly representative of the average cost of a kit, as precise costs can fluctuate from case to case. All KAS Ops Sponsorship donations are added to a common fund, used to cover operational costs in South Africa.
What a wonderful idea ! We will be giving the Gogos a hand-up rather than a hand-out .
Exactly right, Linda! We all know how important it is to be a major contributor in your own success, so support like this helps everyone involved - KAS, the Gogos, the kids, and the whole community!
Guess who's just been shopping [and only $9 or £5.66]. Thanks to the team for facilitating this, I love it. And it's watch this space for another update, I hope.......Roz x
Definitely 'watch this space', there will be more coming soon!
I think this is a super idea as another thread has a discussion of what items can and can't get past Customs on it...this rather goes round that entirely. All I need do now is donate the amount and then just send the skeins of yarn when I can do so. Question: If the funds go into a common fund is it still kept track of what they were donated/designated for so they indeed get used for that item? Just wondering. I think this is so inspiring. I'm going to go buy one right now!
We do keep close tabs on how many of each item are 'purchased' through the shop, and try our very best to make sure that there is at least a 1-to-1 match with SA purchases. If you pick a sewing kit, there will absolutely be one additional sewing kit getting purchased for the gogos!
The 'common fund' is important because sometimes prices can fluctuate in SA, and because every case is slightly different. For example:
Each specific circumstance will cost a slightly different amount. The common fund exists so that we can make sure that all the KAS Ops projects are successful, by making up for a shortfall in one with the spare change from another. Rather than giving the small creche a mass of snacks and then making the kids in the larger creche go hungry to ensure that every distribution costs the same amount, we balance it out so that everyone gets something nice.
All of that said, if we're lucky enough that costs turn out to be consistently low for one type of item and we've been able to source everything in SA for less than anticipated, then the spare change from that purchase might go top up the budget for a similar, closely related Ops item, perhaps one which was more expensive than we had hoped. And I suppose that, if we were ever lucky enough to have so many items of one type purchased from the shop that we simply couldn't distribute them all (which I very much doubt will happen any time soon!) then we might consider using some of those 'overflow' funds to support a different but closely related project. We'll cross that bridge when (if!) we come to it though!
Thanks for the great explanation, Erica! The items in the KAS Shop are vital in order to allow us to do something special wherever it is needed.
Just a reminder to everyone, that equally vital are the ongoing monthly donations which are so easy to make through Paypal.
For anyone who can afford to, and is so inclined, even a small monthly donation of $5-10, makes a huge difference to the running of KAS.
Sometimes we forget that there are ongoing costs like maintaining this website, accounting fees, occasional customs duties, and maybe most importantly, getting Ronda and her team set up in some kind of permanent facility now that they are out of the 'freebie'.
Paypal is great - you can sign up for a recurring donation, say for a year, and they remind you when it is about to end, so that you can renew.
I realize that not everyone can do this. For some, the cost of yarn and postage is all they can afford, and that is just fine.
But just imagine what it would be like if even 25% of the members on this forum would sign up for a small ongoing monthly donation!
Thanks Erica. What a super explanation! I was just mildly curious. I totally trust you gals n guys with distribution of funds, I was just wondering how it worked and I must say it's about how I figured it. Ta da. Great minds think alike? (wink wink)
You've explained it beautifully, Erica.
Erica what a wonderful idea! A wish has become true! I bought 2 kits to make two of the lovely ladies happy :). Hope to buy more kits in future.
Well done Anneke. Gina is starting this project for KAS, and, once it is underway will post a discussion and keep us informed of progress and some photographs as well!