Square Circle Forum

Dear Kasers,

It has become obvious in the last few months and particularly since, with Erin and Clive's help, we have been able to begin to get through the backlog, that the ratio of squares to knitted garments is changing.

Where we used to get perhaps 90% squares to 10% knitted garments, this is moving closer to 50/50.

The knitted garments are beautiful and will warm little bodies in the months to come.  However, there are problems associated with this that we now must address. 
  1. For the moment, our resources in South Africa remain limited.  We are not yet able to put in place the operations manager as described in our April Appeal.

    Opening and stacking JUST squares to deliver to our increasing groups of sewers is quick and efficient.  This process slows down significantly when we are also sorting jumpers, vest, hats, go-overs, slip-overs and baby clothes into piles according to age and distribution possibilities.

  2. Working out suitable distribution methods too for a variety of sizes of clothes is not as easy either as assembling blankets which are a universal size and can be wrapped on any orphan anywhere at anytime.

  3. We are desperate for more squares and currently not able to meet the quotas we have been arranging either with sewers or other groups like Oasis South Africa.

  4. We determined to distribute a hat with every blanket, but we currently have far more hats than the blankets we can distribute.  So for now, we must just concentrate on squares.
Let me outline our immediate needs for squares:

OASIS - Oasis is a charity working in Cosmo City - a huge redevelopment project for previous shack settlement dwellers.  They have 30 community workers who are taking the blanket packs to clinics for HIV/AIDS infected mothers to sew for their children and or go-gos to sew for their orphaned grand-children.  These are all for children desperately in need.  As the mothers are HIV/AIDS infected, the children are often affected or infected with HIV/AIDS too.  Their goal was 500 blankets for this year (and each year from now on) requiring 17,500 squares.  So far we have delivered 5,000 squares, so we need another 12,500 squares to fulfil this goal.

VUSELELA COMMUNITY CENTRE, DIEPSLOOT -   Sister Sato currently has 635 children who they term OVC - orphaned or vulnerable children -  in her day care centre.  This number grows each day. So far we have given out about 90 blankets, so we aim to provide squares for another 540 blankets:  18,900 squares.

CRECHES - Wandile has identified at least another 30 creches similar to Itumeleng Creche (the babies on the floor).  Each creche has approximately 35 children in them.  That is 1050 blankets = about 36,750.  While we would like to deliver to all of them, realistically we should aim for 10.  Total squares 12,250.

THEMBISA SHACK SETTLEMENT -  Anne de Wit has identified a need for 100 children who need blankets urgently.   Total squares: 3,500 squares.

ANTOINETTE MCMASTER SEWING GROUP - Antoinette lives in Johannesburg and has a
group of knitters and sewers who are prepared to sew 50 blankets a month
so we will be distributing 1,750 squares per month to her, through
Erin.  The blankets will be returned each month for distribution to identified creches and orphanages.  For a total of 3 months 5,250.

METHODIST CHURCH SEWING GROUP PIMVILLE SOWETO  -  Lindiwe had a meeting with their chairlady (Khaya) who has organised a sewing group. There is a diarised distribution for June 2. They require additional squares for the distributions they are committed to.  Total squares 3,500.

To fulfil these obligations over the next 3 months:  55,900 squares.


OUR AIM IS TO PUT BLANKETS ON CHILDREN and for that we need SQUARES, SQUARES, SQUARES.


In consultation with Ronda, Erin and all the mods, we have decided to ask that the next 3 months challenges are square related.  Along with ensuring that we get blankets around as many of the 'toddlers on the floor' of creches, we really want to fulfil these needs that we have also identified.

We must also work within our resources and use them wisely.  If we can open, sort and bundle 3000 squares in a day rather than 1000 squares and 500 knitted items, then that is a wise use of our volunteers time at present. 

If you are involved in making, hats, jumpers go-overs, baby clothes etc of course, please complete and send them.  But then for the next 3 months, I hope you will understand our overwhelming need for squares. 

Our mods have come up with innumerable wonderful, exciting ways to make our June/July /August challenges a real tribute to our humble square.  And we will be putting up all the challenges soon, including the dozens and dozens of ideas to make these three months the most exciting of our challenge history yet.   You will be completely inspired I am certain!

Remember the term we use for the square - 'a currency of hope.' Please let that inspire you to outdo ourselves to a fantastic tally of squares over the next three months.

You are, as always amazing, in the way you respond and I do hope that no one will be disappointed not to be making other items for this short period while we try to fulfil our goals of more blankets on more children.







Tags: AIDS, blankets, charity, children, for, in, knitting, need, orphan, orphans, More…squares

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Replies to This Discussion

Disppointed? Never! We were all attracted to the 8" square when we got on to KAS and those blankets are stunning. You put rockets on our needles and hooks with your confidence that we can meet the challenges!. How fabulous that you have located so many people that we can help, and that there are sewing groups willing to join them together.How wonderful to have the mothers and Gogo's involveed as part of this. Go KAS!
What a totally inspiring idea Sue - rockets on needles and hooks! Thanks for the endorsement, just the encouragement everyone needs.
I have a pile of about 30 maybe more squares and lots of jumpers and vests to send, but will send the squares first.
I only just cast on another square before going to bed. Something must have told me that was what was most needed at the moment!
It will be raining squares in South Africa soon, of that you need have no doubt....
Hi Sandie,

I have six squares already completed 3 knitted and 3 crochet ones.I will get them packaged up and get them posted over the weekend.

Elaine x
I think it's just important for us to know what is needed most. With a thought to a hat per blanket, I just packaged up 14 hats yesterday which I will send today. Sigh.... I have faith that they will find heads to warm.

On the other hand, I also have about 30 squares ready to send off, which I will do soon.

I, for one, was worried about all that backlog of squares sitting there, and was thinking it would be a good thing to send things that didn't have to be assembled, but could be distributed as they were, such as sweaters and hats. I don't even know how many sweaters and hats I have sent to South Africa in the past few months!

Thanks for letting us know what is needed now... squares it will be!
Mary
55,900! Divide that by 1000 people on the forum, divide that by three months, that makes an average of only about 18 squares per person per month. Obviously it doesn't work quite like that but it makes it sound more do-able. I suspect that quite a few of us have squares we haven't sent because we thought there was a mountain already there awaiting attention but they'll flood in now.
It is such an achievement to have obtained so much help and we're all fired up again: Knit-a-Square or twenty!
I love the math! Great way to break a large concept down into concrete sizes. Lots of people can knit/crochet more than 18 squares a month so that helps out the slower knitters who do less than that.

True team effort!
I agree--that is superb math. I was looking only at mind boggling numbers, still determined to do my bit but abit dizzy until you broke it down so easily. Yeah, even I can do 18-20 per month and some powerhouses we have on KAS, like Anne Powell and Laurie Hake, can do many more than that. (you know who you are-- :D)

You did indeed put rockets into our needles and hooks Sandy by starting up KAS with Ronda. It is SO inspiring to know every stitch we're doing is helping warm some dear little one across the globe. It's truly our best way to reach them.

I have one question: To speed up sorting times, do you want us to concentrate on only one yarn weight? I am right now making fairly thick squares from bulky weight wool...they're lovely and soft and stretchy and very warm but unless I send enough at once for an entire blanket am I clogging up the works? I just find them much faster to do, more achievable with my chronic fatigue (M.E.) hanging around. :) Thanks!
Hi Jeanne, I'm just catching up on my reading ! I've been give quite a few balls of chunky yarn. Between the 2 of us, would we have enough for a blanket ?
On the other hand, having a bulky square in the blanket will give the child a different texture to explore.
Christine, that is definitely do-able. And look what we have accomplished already !
I was thinking along the same lines that a garment requires no assembly. This is why it's so great to get up to date info from the team in SA. I never thought delivery of garments would be an issue but of course it has to be, geographically speaking; getting to all the various areas outside of J'burg.

I'm back to squares now!
Mary your gorgeous garment will find a home never fear! They are so lovely the children and young people wil be proud to wear them. Don't sigh you will be back to fabulous go-overs and hats before you know it!

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