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!