Saturday, May 28, 2011

Quilts for the Homeless

I managed to finish off a few more quilts despite having a very busy week with paid work. Now that the nights are so cold it's been inspiring me to keep finishing off quilts so I can send as many as possible to Qld for the next day for the homeless to receive assistance which will be in Ipswich the first week of June.
I'm hoping to get the quilts sent up by truck this coming week and the wonderful beanies and scarves that have been donated will also be much appreciated and given out with the quilts and blankets. I almost have another crocheted blanket finished and then pile of wool is decreasing. I also have finished more scarves so will post photos of them on my other blog soon.
In the meantime I've included a report on the previous day to help the homeless held in Brisbane a week or so ago.

INDIGENOUS ITEMS....went quickly and we kept getting asked all through the day if we had more. These are beanies, fingerless gloves and scarves knitted in black, red and yellow.

ADULT JUMPERS - Particularly for men.....we could have given away at least another 500 from what we had there!!

BLANKETS - As we expected blankets were in huge demand. But BIG blankets, not so much knee rugs. Once again, another 500 or so more BIG BLANKETS would not have gone amiss.

SOCKS/BED SOCKS - Could have used heaps more of them also. I was very surprised at how many asked if we had bed socks!!

OLDER CHILDREN JUMPERS - Once again, needed more than we had. Mainly from ages 6 upwards.

TOYS - Knitted/crocheted toys were as usual popular also.

TOILETRY BAGS - Please get the word out that we need more unused toiletries; especially face washers, combs, brushes, tooth paste, tooth brushes, deodorant.

I was told by one of the organisers from Brisbane City Council that the first "guesstimate" was around 1150 clients. The appreciation for what we do as a group is just so heartwarming. I wish you could all hear and see the words of astonishment, thanks, pure joy etc that come from those in need. There were lots of "new" homeless there yesterday, (quite a lot because of the flooding in January - no insurance etc etc) and lots of "hanging back" thinking we were selling things, until they were told our items were free of charge!
This year I felt there were more women and men in my own age group ie closer to 70 than 60 and I know how much I feel the cold. One volunteer approached me asking if we had men's jumpers because she had found an elderly man who was too embarrassed to come and look for himself. This made me think about how their self-esteem must be affected. We ran out of adult jumpers. I appreciate they take longer to knit and the materials cost more but I think I'm going to focus on doing more in future.

Grandparents, obviously down on their luck, were thrilled to find our wonderful array of toys (mostly knitted) to choose something from as gifts to grandchildren. Can you imagine being a grandparent whose poor financial situation doesn't allow you to give gifts to your grandchildren.

There seemed to be many more pregnant ladies than I'd noticed at previous days for the homeless. They seemed pleased to have such a large selection of baby clothing from which to choose.

It was upsetting when we couldn't provide a jumper for a sturdily built boy of about 10 who was so focused on making sure his baby sister had a hat and a toy that he didn't care about himself. There seemed to be far more children and their resilience is astounding. Despite adversity they smiled, chatted and had great manners. One sweet little girl of about 10 asked if she could take a beanie for a girlfriend who couldn't get there. It turned out her friend is 35 and they "camp" in the same place.
After hearing how quickly the large blankets, quilts and warm garments are snapped up it inspires me to use up what I have here and get more quits etc out to where they are very much needed.
Thank you so much for helping me to help these people who are struggling daily just to stay warm, dry and fed, particularly after the floods.
Love and thanks, Jan Mac


  1. Jan you mentioned "a report on the last day to help the homeless held in Brisbane a week or so ago." Did you mean by that they were not going to hold any more of these such days?

  2. Sorry Kaite, it was poor grammar. They have a big day in the capitol cities called the Homeless Connect Day where they offer all sorts of services. These are held once a year and apart from those days the items are given out to the homeless via the soup vans etc. The next one for Qld is in Ipswich on June 7th so I'm trying to get as many things up to them as possible to reach as many people as possible.
    Hugs Jan Mac

  3. How humbling to read all that much need in my home city and state. Do you have the name of a contact person eg Brisbane City council? In my Sisters of Stitch group that I belong to I heard about Project Linus which the group supports and maybe this group can also collect and/or makeitems for the homeless as well.A local wool shop also hosts charity knit afternoons a few saturdays per month...but the need is neverending isn't it?

  4. Thanks Jan, and i was wondering about sending direct also, to save the double cost and double handling time.

  5. I've dug out the black, red and yellow yarns so will try to get a couple of beanies knitted up but you won't get them before this next date. Most of my days are filled with Dr's apptnt's, leaves and prunings still, but i have a little evening time left. cheers again, k.