I have been inspired to write a little about the wonderful week I have had in Joburg with Wendy, Ronda and volunteers at Knit a Square! I remember when my creative cousin Sandy McDonald birthed the idea of the knitting of squares that would be sent to South Africa and converted lovingly into blankets for the many orphans who are so needy of something warm, and something that they can call their own. What a wonderful idea I thought! Just hope it works! I was down in Joburg from Harare for a brief visit with Ronds, late 2010, and happened to go to her home on the day the post arrived! I could not stay with her as at this point the post from all over the world was being stored in the spare bedroom, and in fact in any spare space that the house rendered! It was awesome! WOW people are generous, and as I spent that long ago afternoon with Wandi, Ronda, Lindiwe - opening post and capturing data - I was overwhelmed at all the kindness pouring in from all corners of the earth, being channeled by these wonderful women around me and keeping South African orphans warm! I was on the board of KAS but had no real concept of how it worked and remember being so proud of Sandy for conceptualising this charity and Ronda for throwing herself, her patient husband and family and the four walls of their home open to KAS’s needs! Boy, have things changed since then. It is a charity fully in the almighty hands of God! How He has opened doors and provided the needs of this organisation has been incredible! I arrived in Joburg and was taken almost immediately to the new KAS office, which has to be seen! It is busting with colour and soft toys and bags of squares bundled up and beanies and socks and LOVE! The next day I went on a distribution with Wandi, Ronda and Wendy to Evaton where, in spite of their daily hardships, the children were so happy to see us and get a beanie, soft toy and a blanket, that once more, I was truly overwhelmed by how far KAS has come! The joy I felt at being part of this distribution will stay with me for ever and I want to say a heartfelt THANK-YOU to all of you who contribute to KAS! I was then involved in collecting post on Thursday – WOW again, bags and bags of kindness! Must say that it was my exercise for the year and I take my hat off to Ronda and Wendy who sometimes have to load it all on their own!

Collecting mail from the Bryanston Post Office.

Off to the office to find 17 volunteers waiting to unpack and capture data! Coffee, tea, laughter and one of the best mornings I have spent since forever … it all passed too quickly and the place was left in order for the next distribution!!! We have, in the past years, received a few boxes in Zimbabwe by various means, and done 2 distributions at which the orphanages were very camera shy, so I was unable to take photographs, but I can tell you all that this trip has really inspired me to pray that a channel for getting squares to Zimbabwe is opened and that we are able to carry on the KAS joy in my beloved Zim! As we speak I am packing as many blanket packs into my car as possible, as I drive back to Zimbabwe tomorrow, so here’s to new beginnings in Zimbabwe. God Bless all who contribute to Knit a Square, God Bless those wonderful family members of mine who gave birth to this amazing charity and God Bless all those who volunteer and give of their time to KAS. I can say from firsthand experience now, that KAS gives back way more to those who volunteer and my life has been truly enriched by spending this amazing week in Johannesburg with the Knit a Square folk.


Packing for Zimbabwe - my car was full!

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  • Tracey took 81 blanket packs!  Also a huge quantity of hats as Ronda had plenty in stock.  No doubt Tracy will report back once the blankets are made and distributed.  So it is a useful start.

    • I have only just seen this report. Very inspirational. I used to live in Harare (Salisbury as it was then) and though we left many years ago I have a great warmth and affection for the country and its people (well most of them!) 40 plus years ago our church group knitted jumpers and delivered them for children in a leper mission and I have never experienced such love and happiness as I did that day. (Three weeks later cars were blown up by land mines on the road we had travelled ). Do blankets make it to Zim now?
      • Unfortunately Cath, KAS hasn't been able to set up a distribution line to Zimbabwe. The 350 hats that were taken down almost didn't make it because the borders Customs wanted to charge a fortune in duty! However, after negotiation they were battered down to a reasonable sum. These and other issues make it just too difficult - although the team would love to help.

        • I am thinking if we ever found someone living within Zimbabwe who we could mail directly to, as a satellite KAS office, then that would solve it because sometimes these border issues are heartbreaking. I remember when a truck used to go up there twice a year and we could send baby items to them. I do think the solution is having someone inside the country.  Maybe we need clones of Ronda we can put in these countries?  Just kidding but somebody with her loving motivated heart would be awesome.  Meanwhile I remember them in my prayers, the countries we can't get into. 

  • It would be nice to make a little bit of a difference in Zimbabwe, lets hope it comes sooner rather than later....Roz x

  • What a wonderful report from Tracy, do pass on our thanks to her and how great to end with her car being crammed full of blanket packs to help the children in Zimbabwe as well!  This has made my day.  THANK YOU!  :)

    Awww, Sue, I hope we have really good news for your friend at work really soon.  Zimbabwe is full of awesome people and I know they'd be only too thrilled to help out in sewing up squares. I eagerly await hearing how Tracy got in with her blanket packs back in Zim. 

  • Wonderful responses and lots of encouragement !!  Thank you all so much for your friendship and support xoxoxo

    • Tracy thanks so much for your personal account . We are all envious but what a great time you had. We will all be barracking for Zim to come on board too! I have a friend at work who comes from Zimbabwe and she has been hoping...hoping.

  • It would be an absolute dream come true to be over there stitching and helping at the coal face so to speak so it was wonderful to read this and be able to live it through your expeciences there. A great description  of your time spent with the sorting and distribution side of KAS,,

  • Lovely report, Tracy, could feel the warmth!  I wonder whether Sister Abigail Ntleko could open doors in Zimbabwe.  She has a small AIDS orphanage in S. Africa but I think may know people in Zimbabwe. There's a good deal of information about her online.

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