You may have noticed in the last ezine, 'we're back', that we pointed out that G4S's prison inmates, who are sewing blankets for the orphans and vulnerable children, have the capacity to sew 100,000 squares a month. That's 1.2 million squares a year. Heart stopping!
1.2 million squares certainly sounds impossible, if you imagine it is just you and our already furiously-clicking wonderful, KasCommunity.
Suspend reality for a moment
Okay, as of today we are 1,775 fantastically, committed people in this forum, focused on helping the 2.8 million children in South Africa and Zimbabwe, whose lives have been so compromised, some even before their birth.
We would help all of Africa's children, if we could.
Still, we know that every child whose lives we touch with our love, care and warmth, is offered a hand of hope from people all over the world, who have not abandoned them.
So, we are agreed that every child we help matters?
In which case, if we could help more, we should, yes?
Let's look at some numbers.
If each of our 1,775 people stitched five squares a month for a year, that would equal 60 squares x 1775 = 106,500. Good start, and not impossible?
Now each of us, all 1,775 people would know five people among all our family and friends, whom we could challenge to knit 25 squares throughout the year?
1,775 x 5 = 8,875 KasFriends stitching 25 squares = 221,875 squares. Still way short of 1.2 million.
Your local communities
Okay, so what if we approached our local school, church, or retirement home?
Let's imagine that everyone of us approached a school, church or retirement home. Let's be realistic and say that on average one out of every two approaches took the up the challenge and those organisations each sent 100 squares each. We know it can be done, because we’ve launched KasElders in Australia and older people love it.
That’s 1,775 divided by two (only every second challenge taken up) equals 888 schools/churches/retirement homes (KasCommunity) x 100 squares each = 88,800 squares.
Let's see what have we got now. 106,500 + 221,875 + 88,800 = 417,175 squares.
How many of us work for a small business? Let's imagine there are 100 members who work in small business and could challenge their companies (KasBiz) to a 500 square contribution for the year? That's another 50,000 squares.
Okay, now what if among our 1,775 members, just 10 members work for a large organisation like InterfaceFLORwho contributed 10,000 squares last month?
So, those 10 members go to their organisations and challenge them to beat InterfaceFLOR. Our biggest corporate contributor before that was Dewey le Boeuff in New York, who sent us 1,200 squares. Now InterfaceFLOR have re-set the bar!
There must be more than 10 of us who work for corporate organisations (KasCor), who could take up this challenge?
That’s 10 x 10,000 = 100,000.
Now we have 417,175 + 50,000 + 100,000 squares = 567,175 squares
One last thing to imagine. Your five friends and relatives you asked first up: what if you asked them to invite just one other person (KasFriend-of-a-friend!) each to also contribute 25 squares in a year.
That's 1,775 x 5 = 8,875 each adding one person = 17,750 x 25 squares = 443,750.
Total 567,175 + 443,750 = 1,010,925 squares. Well, it is a weeny bit short of the mark, but pretty close!
And that is only the forum members! We know there are at least another 3-5,000 members stitching out of Ravelry, Facebook and subscribers who belong to churches and schools.
They could make up the 90,000.What do you think LOL!
I know I have asked you to come on a fantasy journey. But is it really? What is each one of us being asked to do?
In a knit-shell
To summarise, here’s what we’re suggesting: knit five squares each a month. Ask five people each to knit 25 squares a year. Ask each one of them to ask one person to knit 25 squares a year. Ask everyone in this chain to ask their local school, church or retirement village to take up the challenge. Challenge your company to a contribution.
The reality is that if we all did that, it would spread organically anyway.
Schools show the way
The Cedarwood College community in Johannesburg has contributed 8,000 squares, Cundall Manor College in the UK contributed 2,600 squares. How many thousands of colleges are there around the world we could find and ask?
We thought that you should be rewarded for your efforts by a Warm Child Wrapped in Your Love.
For every KasFriend: 1 Warm Child Wrapped In Your Love
For every KasFriend-of-a-friend: 1 Warm Child Wrapped In Your Love
For every KasCommunity: 4 Warm Children Wrapped In Your Love
For every KasBusiness: 6 Warm Children Wrapped In Your Love
For every KasCorporate: 10 Warm Children Wrapped In Your Love
I will be busy illustrating a whole lot of beautiful warm children over the next few weeks to award to you, but PLEASE do not let that stop you getting out there today and starting this exciting challenge.
Anyone got any names for it? How about the Million Square Challenge? Roger suggests the Millionaire's Square.
PS: Don't forget the internet world, every craft, knitting and crochet blog (and there are THOUSANDS) could easily be converted into a KasNetworker (LOL - just made that one up), by your leaving a comment. I think a KasNetworker would deserve 2 Warm Children Wrapped In Your Love - what do you think?
PPS: What if we were to put online a downloadable flyer or brochure, for you to share with friends, schools, retirement homes, community, church groups and your businesses and companies to persuade them to join the Square Million challenge?
Just think, we could also set up a thermometer so everyone could track our progress as the squares tally mounted. Any other ideas?
THIS IS JUST THE DISCUSSION. JOIN THE KNIT-A-SQUILLION CHALLENGE NOW
Kalai will put the challenge up on July 8, so please don't put up your efforts yet!
Replies are closed for this discussion.
A wonderful challenge Sandy - we will try to rise to it!
I would love a flyer that I could email to every contact but for me it must have on the postage details and encourage recipients to post off their squares directly. Every appeal I have done so far has resulted in me being inundated with squares that I cannot yet afford to post - the postage is the big issue for us all. In the UK it costs about £6 a kg to SA - that's approx 30 squares depending on yarn - so not a lot if many individuals post their own squares. How about a tear off KAS address and "no commercial value" strip to make it easy peasy for people to post their squares?
Every good wish to you and Roger and every KAS supporter
Thank you Pam. And I agree regarding the postage. That is certainly an issue when advocating for KAS. My mum had the same problem, but overcame it by fundraising through her community. Still it needs to be clear to the people being invited to the challenge that they are responsible for the postage not you.
But here is a thought. With this volume of activity, perhaps the five, plus the friend of a friend could group together to cover postage. Or their non stitching spouses could each contribute? Maybe we need lots of similar suggestions to ward off the postage issue?
Love the idea of the tear off strip. Thanks so much Pam for your suggestions.
Hi Belinda, thank you, we do have a KAS on a page flyer under resources here. But I think this challenge needs a specific flyer. Let's run with the conversation for a few days and then we can consolidate with what is needed. So exciting that you can think of loads of places to send it too. Lots of Warm Children Wrapped In Your Love coming your way!
This is a great nidea and one that I will do.
Hi Sandy, good to have you back. I agree with Pam that any flyer/brochure should include the postal address and a tear-off strip makes lots of sense. I have in mind a folded brochure - a page of information and another with the postal address and customs declaration - although double sided printing may be a problem. Many (but by no means all) of the more senior ladies may not have access to the internet so a brochure with all the relevant information would be ideal.
I love a mathematical challenge!!
I would like to take the challenge! I would like flyers to hand out to many groups and knitting shops. The need in South Africa
is great especially for the children. We had the opportunity to visit some small areas while my husband did business there.
I became involved in clinic work and taught many women to knit and crochet. This is so special to be part of your mission!
Wonderful goal, Sandy, and a wonderful idea! The timing for this seems so right!
Happy to report Clear Lake Methodist KAS is expanding and adding a night group.
Many of our current KAS knitters and crocheters are older, attend a traditional service, and can
attend a monthly day meeting. Now
one of our enthusiastic new, young members, who attends our contemporary service,
has picked up the challenge and is beginning a monthly night group for knitters who work. Seems
knitting is definitely "in" for the young crowd, and they are very enthusiastic to get on board.
I would be over the moon if we could double what we send to Ronda monthly.