By Brent Lindeque www.goodthingsguy.com
Thousands of South Africans have taken up the challenge to knit scarves and leave them in public places for those in need.
When the cold front hit South Africa last week, philanthropist and ‘Arts Angel’, Carolyn Steyn suggested that all more fortunate South Africans knit scarves and leave them in public places for those less fortunate.
Carolyn’s journey with knitting for South Africa started in December 2013, when Zelda la Grange, the late former President Nelson Mandela’s trusted assistant, presented her with a challenge: knit, sew or crochet 67 blankets for Madiba Day!
Carolyn gladly accepted Zelda’s challenge and called on her friends for help, which quickly developed into a Facebook group called “67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day”. In just days, hundreds of people from around the world had pledged to knit a blanket for Nelson Mandela Day.
Since then, 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day has become what some are calling a “movement” – a movement that has captured the attention of many South African and international celebrities as well as corporates and ‘KnitWits for Madiba’ in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Cyprus, London, the US and India.
Carolyn and the KnitWits have been very busy knitting blankets and handing them out to thousands of South Africans in need over the past years but somehow the philanthropist still finds time to inspire the nation to do more.
When the cold front hit South Africa last week, Carolyn took to social media to suggest another challenge for all South Africans to take part in.
She posted what she’s calling a “secret scarf mission” but is asking for the message to be shared far and wide
“We have worked our fingers to the bone making blankets for people less fortunate and for this I extend my most heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you who has already contributed blankets this year.”
The blankets are now in the midst of distributions – working with all the ambassadors, the KnitWits for Madiba and Stuttaford Van Lines. Handing out thousands of blankets to orphanages, old aged homes and informal settlements.
“Now that our big work has been done for the year, I suggest we all have a nice cup of tea with friends (or in our own quiet time) and CHURN out as many SCARVES as you possibly can for this special day which has become an annual day of giving on the part of our 67 Blankets family.”
The concept is to leave the scarves in parks, around trees, parking metres, tied around lamp posts on the exact same day – Thursday 13 July 2017. Scarves left for anyone who needs them – all over our beautiful country
“We will display our scarves (made with love) – each one bearing our special trademark logo and message : “I AM NOT LOST. IF YOU ARE COLD AND NEED ME, PLEASE TAKE ME. LOVE, 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day”.
People on their way home, walking to bus stops and taxi ranks from school and work, will be gloriously surprised by the colourful displays and messages of love and warmth.
“So, in the next few days, let’s see just how many SCARVES we can quickly churn out.”
“Please post pictures! And let’s get rocking with this project – also not forgetting our #MMM (Massive Mandela Masterpiece).We need all those blankets handed in by December so that South Africa can make HISTORY next year to mark Madiba’s 100th year.”
“But right now think SCARVES, SCARVES, SCARVES!”
P.S. Please spread this posting far and wide. And pick up your hooks NOW!