After the shock of having to move premises at the beginning of the year, we have pulled ourselves towards ourselves and have spent some time planning for the year ahead. On Saturday we had our KAS SA Annual General Meeting which was so motivating and we are really excited about everything we have planned for 2014. We will be sure to share it all with you in our reports!
Our number one priority at the moment is to secure new premises, but we have some possibilities in the pipeline and hope to be able to report back on this soon.
Our next priority is to get more volunteers in South Africa to help sew together all the gorgeous squares you send. We have a dedicated group of people who help with this, but have found that over the last few months, the number of blanket packs waiting to be sewn together has exploded. Take a look at what Wendy’s lounge currently looks and this is not the only place we have blanket packs stored – you should see my garage!
This backlog is largely as a result of our sewing project at the private prison in Bloemfontein being on hold for a while and the increased difficulty of getting squares back and forward to Bloemfontein which is about a 4 hour drive by car from Johannesburg.
But, we have all sorts of exciting plans to have these blankets stitched up ahead of winter and we will be knocking on the doors of retirement facilities, other prisons and schools to help.
Towards the end of last year Wendy and I visited a lovely retirement home – Waterval Retirement Village. Established in 1983, Waterval Retirement Village is located on Johannesburg’s West Rand. There are 162 units of varying sizes and design that are set in wonderful gardens within a quiet and friendly environment. A group of the residents get together on a regular basis and knit squares and beautiful toys for KAS. We enjoyed a lovely cup of tea and a slice (or two!!!) of cake with these ladies before leaving with a KASvan full of their goodies. We are hoping we will be able to get some more retirement homes on board and see if they cannot help with our backlog.
We have also had some great success in getting schools involved in sewing blankets for us. This is the second time that Beaulieu College has helped KAS. In November 2012, Wendy, Darrin (from G4S) and I took all the unopened mail to the college and the students helped unpack everything and then still had time to help sew together some of the squares. This time, because we were up to date with our mail, they offered to take blankets packs and help us by stitching them together. It certainly looks like they had a great deal of fun!
Beaulieu College is a private, coeducational day school founded in 2000. It is located in Kyalami, which is very near to the Bryanston post office you mail your contributions to. We are grateful for the continued support we receive from Beaulieu.
Just to keep you in the loop, there is a postal strike on in South Africa at the moment and we have only received a few boxes and parcels over the last two weeks. It has been a good opportunity for us to sort out our stock and concentrate our efforts in areas of admin, planning and prioritising for the year. We are not sure how long the strike will continue, but we do know that when it is over we will have heaps of mail to open!
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I am glad to hear that the is the possibility of new premises. re the postal strike very down has an up side
Good to see the boys stitching the blankets together as well as the girls. All good wishes for finding a more permanent home for KAS.
A lovely read during my lunch break.
Another uplifting report and I am keeping everything crossed for the potential new premises, everything that is except for my crocheting fingers!!
Thank you, Ronda, for keeping us posted. We hope and pray that KAS will be able to have suitable premises soon and that many local volunteers will help with the sewing of blankets.
Oh my, Thank you Ronda and Wendy for donating your homes!!! Those knitting ladies did a wonderful job- especially the scarecrows, how beautiful......
Another great read.
You poor things, having your homes taken over once again. Hopefully it is only for a short time.
We are so grateful to you both and the team for never, EVER giving up and going to great lengths to 'keep the ball rolling'.
What a great report Ronda!
Seeing those blanket packs just makes my fingers itch!
Your idea of involving seniors homes and students is excellent. Here in Ontario, high school students are required to do some kind of community service before they can graduate. What a wonderful project something like this would be for them. (wish I could send you a few). In our wee town, we also have a large group of seniors who get together to quilt and knit (wish I could send you a few of them as well)
While needing more volunteers to assemble the blankets is a bit of a problem, it is also a measure of the success of the project. We'll keep praying that you will soon be deluged with volunteers who love to sew.
Thanks to Waterval and Beaulieu !! A great effort from both camps.
Thank you all for reading and commenting on the reports ! Peter and I are just busy packing up our suitcases to fly down to the Cape for the next six days for a family visit ... how exciting is that ?! The moment we are back, the priority is to make a decision with regard to the issue of premises for KAS. It's lovely to have the colour and chaos all around us at home, but not absolutely ideal, of course ... !! So thanks for your thoughts and prayers of encouragement ... watch this space !!!
Hugs to you all ...
Please rest and relax with the family - you and Peter certainly started 2014 with a 'bang' after your poor ceiling collapsed!
Thanks Pam - yes it was a surprising start to the new year but we are LOVING our downlighters so it's an ill wind .... and we are enthused to fix up some of the other rather neglected areas of the house after KAS fledges itself !! ALL good here in SA.