Christmas handout for 150 children in Soweto.
Report by Megan
Beanies for Beings
Sunday 3rd December It was a tough day, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Gary and myself arrived with the Knit-A-Square team of ladies, Nani, Wandi, Mabel, Lindi and Vivian as well as the team of 20 from Meals on Wheels.
We were packed and ready for our distribution of food, toiletries, clothes, blankets, gifts, party packs, beanies and scarves for 150 children.
Upon arrival we couldn't even drive up to the tiny little tent attached to a shack in the heart of Soweto and had to carry all of these goods quite a way because of the road conditions.
It was hot, space was minimal under the little tent to set up, there were over 30 of us together to distribute, but despite that spirits were high, we were positive and excited.
The noise levels of the children waiting outside escalated due to excitement and anticipation and the Knit- A-Square ladies full of laughs, joy and song kept us going until it was time to hand out.
We opened in prayer and praise and allowed the children through to receive their hampers.
Some so tiny they could barely carry their gifts, alone, unsupervised, some with their mothers and others in groups of friends.
We handed out at the speed of light, our piles of gifts and buckets rapidly decreasing, the line of children carried on and on and on.
The little faces pressed against the fence and tent anxiously waiting their turn........ 150 gifts and hampers and food trays given out in 25 minutes flat.
The line didn't end. The little bodies still standing there empty handed. Our hearts sank, the festive feeling rapidly overtaken by sadness, guilt, disbelief.
There must have been easily another 150 children there that arrived and got nothing.
I can't explain how tough this past week has been, trying to reconcile the fact that so many went without.
The need is heartbreaking, soul destroying. I vow to never ever let that happen again.
The final handover that we did was 30 handbags and cooler bags filled with toiletries and gifts for the ladies and gentlemen who assisted was done with much excitement and gratitude from the recipients.
We left with heavy hearts and a new determination to make 2018 better for more children.
Scroll the comments on page 1 to read about another distribution with an upbeat ending.
Yes, Rebecca. I totally agree with you. Especially the third sentence resonates with my heart, too.
I think that might be one of my blue fuzzy Teddy Bears in the second from bottom photo creating a smile
I wondered if that was one of yours Susanne!
Susanne what is especially lovely is that the children look quite big ! It is wonderful to see that a teddy can bring so much joy even when you are growing up. We have to promise ourselves to keep up the supply of toys next year. Susanne, home made is extra special !.
Wait 'til you see the next instalment of Teddies! I've worked my way through all the fuzzy yarn, the chenille yarn, the bobbly yarn... now I'm working on the Sparkly yarn in my stash ... so there will be Bling Teddies early in the new year. Merry Christmas
Susanne that's marvelous! I had already determined to focus on making toys for the kiddies before reading of these distributions but I'm glad that you are forging ahead and no doubt making awesome teddies for the children. High fives!
You're right, Linda! This is a much happier story. I'm thinking how nice it would be if one or two of these young ladies were to examine the blanket squares and decide they would like to learn to knit or crochet. Would the supplies and lessons be available to them, I wonder ... xo
Hi Gloria. I send parcels to JBAY for their recycling day op shop. They ask for knitting needles and yarn, as knitting is quite popular with the teenage girls in their programme. Last year I organised big collection of knitting needles through our local Church and sent to them. I suppose it varies from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. I remember when we were kids in primary school in the 1950's, those that could knit taught their friends who couldn't. (Showing my age haha)
How wonderful, Susanne! Where, exactly, did you send the needles? And how did you send them?
The RJSK have an abundance of donated needles and hooks that I may be able to persuade them to send. We have a borrowing system at the library for anyone needing a special size for a project, but there are always lots of extras. It would be lovely to think they could be put into the hands of a teen who could otherwise not get them ... xo
Glo, I send parcels to JBay for their recycling shop. via Giita Seyfert, Stitch Witches Knitting Charity, PO Box 1128, Jefferys Bay 6330, South Africa. My parcels seem to take at least 8-12 to arrive but I do get notification of their arrival.
I have seen children with items I have sent in photos posted on JBay FB, which is always a thrill. Xx
Forgot to say, when sending needles I tie them together and cover them in a couple of layers of thick bubble wrapping using lots of tape especially at the pointy end. I always note on the packing slip that needles are in the parcel.
Thanks so much Linda for sharing this distribution....the girl with the 2 hats.....hilarious! So good to see that they have a lot of fun!