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Many of you may not have visited the Soweto Gospel Choir thread in the forum, but for a real life example of the power of collaboration you can go no further.

We need 25 blankets for a joint publicity event at the Annenburg Theatre, Philadelphia where the Soweto Gospel Choir (SGC)* will be performing on this coming January 30. The 25 blankets are to be handed to the 25 SGC choristers by 25 children from Springside School in Philadelphia on behalf of 25 orphans, who sponsored by the Soweto Gospel Choir in Soweto.

*Scroll down to the bottom of this page to a video to give you a hint of their truly amazing singing)

We hope that this simple presentation will touch the audience of just short of a 1000.

Together with a foyer display about the orphans and knit-a-square and another choir, the Springside Musica Mundi Choir singing African songs as organised by Debbie Posmontier, many people who did not know about the plight of the orphans of South Africa or about the work of KAS may leave the show at least aware and, we hope, more importantly prepared to care.

Back to the collaboration. The idea was formed way back in August last year after Debbie and Hanna Russo (another forum member) contacted the Annenburg Theatre about meeting the Soweto Gospel Choir with thoughts about promoting KAS. Debbie wrote to us about this and excited, we wrote to the SGC management team. We were amazed to discover that they are Melbourne based, as we are.

Then followed 4 months of correspondence between us, their management team, their creative director, the Annenburg Theatre and Debbie and the various choirs and schools she managed to get involved, eventually resulting in an agreement at the beginning of December to go ahead with the event.

As the agreement was only 2 months before the event, (and on either side of Christmas), we were gravely worried about your ability to not only knit and crochet the squares but to sew up 25 blankets.

I put up a post in the forum on December 2nd asking for help to get the 25 blankets made with my fingers crossed!

Did we need to be concerned? Not at all. Linda Maltby replied immediately - tell me where to send two blankets and I will have them mailed this week. Diane Kubiak had 150 squares ready to mail as well. Jackie Sousa offered to sew a number of the blankets up with Laurie's help ( I think they did 7 between them?).

Just two days later (December 4th) Paulette, Jeni, Deborah, Helen, Melissa, Sue R and Sue G, Lynne, Kyla, Angela, Diane, Andrea, Michelle, Alice, Claire and Katherine had pledged squares or blankets. Laurie Hake wrote: I THINK WE CAN, I THINK WE CAN, I THINK WE CAN - I KNEW WE COULD, I KNEW WE COULD, I KNEW WE COULD!!!!!! (It's the whole "Little Engine That Could)!!

By December 8th we had pledges for 18 blankets. That figure now stands at 27 and many have already arrived safely at Debbie's home from Canada, Scotland, New Zealand and the UK as well as from within the US.

In the meantime, the choir singing in the foyer is rehearsing their trip of African songs among others and we are busy putting together a presentation for the foyer and organising press releases. We are also working on the short presentation that will be made on stage about KAS and the work we are doing.

Jackie and her husband are driving 8 hours to see the concert (a Christmas gift from her family). Laurie got one too! And of course Debbie and Hanna will be there with their friends and family. Sonia has offered to help hand out flyers as well. I am sure the girls of Springside School will be getting very excited about their brief time on stage presenting the blankets to the Soweto Gospel Choir choristers.

You can follow the thread to keep you up to date in the lead up to the day and we hope to have several first hand accounts to share with you after the day.

So as a choice for the word to describe this achievement? I think collaboration says it all. And, thank you.

Views: 10

Tags: AIDS, Choir, Gospel, Soweto, blankets, knitted, orphans

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Comment by Sandy McDonald on January 24, 2010 at 10:52pm
Hmm, would you like to post this in the postage forum and see what response you get. I know many people have said they are sending for significantly less than a $1 a square.
Comment by Martha Reading on January 20, 2010 at 8:04am
Unfortunately it cost me $25. to send 25 squares last summer. I packed the squares in a padded envelope too.
Comment by Sandy McDonald on January 19, 2010 at 2:11pm
Sorry Martha, the choir is not carrying any extra luggage with them on their tour, not even the blankets. We are trying to work out a way in which we can raise funds together with the some wonderful assistance from Jackie Sousa's boss to get 27 blankets back to S.A. So it won't be possible. I am sure though that 125 squares should not cost 125 dollars to send. Look at the postage discussion in the forum. I thought people were sending squares for significantly less than that.
Comment by Martha Reading on January 19, 2010 at 10:51am
If the choir is willing to tote my squares with them back to S.A., I will give them the money for the baggage fee.
Comment by Martha Reading on January 18, 2010 at 10:27am
I don't know why I just saw your post today. I have about 100-125 squares ready to go to KAS. I live in NJ. Is it possible that the choir could take the squares back to SA when they return? That would save me about $125 that I could use for more yarn to make more squares.
Martha Reading
Comment by Hanna Russo on January 17, 2010 at 4:50am
WOW ! I KNEW WE COULD. WE DID. Thanks to you for giving us KAS a memorable project which enriches our lives. I look forward to this event and to meet the Soweto Gospel Choir. Funny but that was all I hoped for. The honor of meeting them since they also raise money for orphans in Africa. Look at how far we've come. I'll be there, camera in hand along with my husband who will be our "schlepper" (helper).
Comment by Dawne Smith-Sliming on January 15, 2010 at 3:54am
Thanks for the recap for those of us who were not in the know about the details of this amazing event. I cannot wait to see the photos/vids from Debbie and company.
Comment by Debbie Posmontier on January 12, 2010 at 3:51am
Sandy...you've said it all! We are so excited and full of joy about this event. A big thanks to everyone who has knitted, crocheted, sewn, shipped and supported us through this project. We will take photos and videos and share the presentation with you all....

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