Via de la Plata(minus 40 days)

“There’s another parcel here for you,” said the email message from the lady in the church office. So we zipped round the corner to investigate. A large white envelope  plastered with stamps – 40 of them according to the children, who insisted that many stamps begged to be counted – waited on a chair, unexpected, a complete surprise.

More hats, more socks, a scarf, another vest….and a card.   I am one person, praying, knitting, crocheting, caring. A stranger in Norfolk Island joins me (thank you so much!) We are only two people, but together we can achieve a little more than we could on our own.
The lady, who was my original inspiration, the one who I started crocheting blankets for, is Dianne Jones, a Brit living in Turkey, founder of LILY – Love in the Language of Yarn. For over four years now she has been collecting items to give to refugees. She has spearheaded initiatives to get fresh water to villages, to service five villages with a daily bread supply after bakeries were bombed, to set up a refugee drop-in centre, to get people accommodation, jobs, food, clothing, sanitary supplies, baby formula.
I suspect she did not have such grandiose plans when she started. She asked for people to knit eight inch squares and she would sew them together and distribute them to refugees that were arriving in the country where she is living. People did more than send squares. Her report from a month ago detailing what she what she and her team (yes, now she has a team) have achieved is testament to individuals doing even just a little:

We have received 2,409,280 squares and sent out 37,645 full size blankets and 24,800 baby blankets.
We have given out 30,876 hats
36,000 pairs of socks
12,461 baby socks/booties
16,784 pairs gloves/mittens
35,587 cardigans/sweaters
12,600 scarves/cowls

Amazing, don’t you think? One lady who decided not to turn away from the need and to use her skills to make a difference.
Some people have said to me, “Why are you crocheting at the far end of the earth? Wouldn’t it be better to just donate some money and let someone buy blankets locally?” I’m crocheting, because I have a supply of wool that can be donated to the cause, but is not much use to anybody wound up in a ball. I’m crocheting out of love. I’m crocheting as a visible inspiration to my children, a reminder that we – they – *can* help. And as for giving money, well, we can do that too! It’s a both/and, not an either/or situation!

You may not be a knitter, but you are computer savvy. Would you consider opening LILY’s facebook page and hitting the LIKE button? Spreading the word just might alert someone else to this special team, someone who might be able to knit or crochet or donate. For that matter, if YOU’D like to donate, you can do so on the website here. Scroll through the posts to see if any of the different initiatives they are involved with captures your heart and pocket!



Via de la Plata(minus 50 days)

 Daddy’s looking forward to going to Melbourne next week to present at a conference…and so The Youngest Four are being a bit more vocal about their own anticipation for their upcoming adventure. You see, when you’re leaving some of the family behind you tend to be a little reserved  out of consideration for those not coming. But not this week! Besides, the Big Kids are actually not so envious – they would rather stay home with mates or go surfing or to a resort than hiking and ruins-hopping!

And in the meantime we keep collecting…….. 

Via de la Plata(minus 60 days)

8 ply scrap scarves completed.  

There’s only one more blanket to make, but lots of room in the bags so the boys took the dollars they have been saving to give away to our local Salvation Army thrift store and picked out suitable clothing. It was a win-win-win situation. Refugees end up with good quality clothes (some of them brand new with tags still attached). The kids felt like they got bargains – each item was 20 cents! And the Sallies got rid of two racks of clothes they had been unable to move on. Oh, and nothing will end up in landfill. That’s four wins.

Now we need to start strength training. I’m thinking perhaps it was an overly ambitious goal to consider carrying it all, even if just for a couple of kilometers. The Shortest Person can manage a grand total of three steps before having to put her bag down! One step at a time.