Monday, August 27, 2007

Charity Knitting

This post is copied, word for word, from Joan's blog

Calling all A4A charity knitters!
Can you squeeze in a child's wool sweater before your Christmas knitting frenzy begins? If not a sweater, how about a vest? Here's the latest email from A4A about the current campaign, deadline October 12. The focus this time is for youth sizes, older kids than usual. There is also a separate baby campaign for a hospital in Kabul. Links below.

"Dear Knitters and Crocheters for Afghanistan,
** Youth Campaign Priority & Revised Due Dates **
We've been concerned that we don't have enough time to meet our commitment for the youth campaign, and so we've been able to push the due dates to October 12 in the US and October 1 for Canadians (via elann.com). This gets us as much time as possible for knitting and crocheting and still gets our cartons to Afghanistan before the cold. Church World Service has asked us to fill 80 cartons that will be air-shipped to Kabul at their expense. 80 cartons could be more than 5,000 blankets and garments -- depending on the particular mix of items. This is a large order in a short period. Church World Service needs the volume to make the transit and distribution more efficient and to clothe enough of the girls and boys under their care. These children are going to be cold this winter, and we're stepping up to do what can to make some of the youngsters more comfortable in difficult circumstances. We must seize the opportunity while presented to us.Church World Service has requested blankets, hats, mittens, socks, sweaters,and vests for youth, ages 7-14 years. Our gifts are going to be distributed at children's rehabilitation and health centers in Kabul and Bamiyan (where the giant Buddhas were destroyed by the Taliban in Summer 2001). These programs treat children who have been traumatized psychologically and physically by the years of war and poverty. Many have lost loved ones in front of their eyes. The girls and boys benefit from physical recreation, lessons in health and hygiene, nutrition, and social skills such as cooperation and peace-building. Church World Service has supported the region since 1954 and works in partnership with Afghan organizations. (Church World Service does not proselytize.) We have worked with Church World Service previously.Some of you may remember that we supplied one of these rehabilitation centers in 2002, when Airline Ambassadors hand-carried our hand-knit and crocheted garments. And, in 2003, we clothed 500 families in Balkh Province through a Church World Service supported agency. Church World Service is a well-established, respected relief and development organization. We are privileged to be asked to supply them and to have our gifts air-shipped right before winter hits hardest. They know that the quality and beauty and uniqueness of our handmade wool blankets and garments are not available in any store! They know that each item is lovingly made by an American or Canadian as a special gift for a child in Afghanistan. Church World Service values what all our volunteers do with needles and hooks. And, we value their indispensable work for the people of Afghanistan.

Important details to review:
* Use wool (or other animal fiber) to provide maximum utility in harsh weather. Read FIBER DETAILS here: http://www.afghansforafghans.org/aboutfibers.html
*Please avoid white and very light colors that soil more easily. Afghans like all colors. Mix up a bright and cheery palette. Use up those wool oddballs.
* Knit or crochet your favorite pattern or try something new.
* Please assume standard garment sizes. Afghan children may be thinner than North American children, but they are not shorter.
* Please add buttons if not sending a pullover garment. Garments need to close up against cold.
* Please be sure garments have adequate coverage: hats need to cover ears;sleeves need to go to the wrist (no 3/4 sleeves); torsos need to be long (bare midriffs are not the rage in Afghanistan!)
* Basic socks with heels and good cover for the lower leg; no booties or slippers, please.
* Consider trying your garment on your own children or a neighbor's child ...to double-check proper fit.
* Avoid lacy or airy patterns.
* We do not accept used items, acrylics, scarves, slippers, ponchos, earwarmers, felted items, quilts, fleece anything, store-bought merchandise, loomed items, unassembled squares, or toys."

Details at the A4A site here.Photos of donated items being received by families in Afghanistan here.

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