KNYSNA NEWS - They might be well advanced in their years, but the Knysna Knitters are an industrious group when it comes to knitting, especially if it is for a good cause.
The Knysna Knitters, residents of Leisure Gardens retirement village in Knysna, has so far knitted more than 100 teddy bears since February and will keep on knitting until their creations go to their new homes.
The teddy bears will donated to the Friends of Child Protection – a Cape Town based organisation that focuses on supporting child victims through the first few hours after trauma.
The organisation creates "comfort packs" designed to soothe and comfort child victims of sexual abuse during the time they have to wait at police stations and hospitals for questioning and a traumatic medical examination. These packs include anything from snacks to soft toys and toiletries and are distributed across the Western Cape.
The group – of which the youngest knitter is 82 and the oldest 97 – saw an advertisement in a local publication calling on the public for assistance with soft toy donations for the organisation.
"Not many people responded, so we decided that this was right in our wheelhouse," Lorna Dickerson said.
She added that the group of women embark on a different project every year and decided that this year's would be knitting teddy bears for this cause.
"It has been a lot of fun. We get together every Friday morning and knit together. We call it a working party. We knit a bit and then have some tea and eats," Patty de Kock, 82, quipped.
The women received some wool donations, but most of the wool came out of their own pockets.
Each teddy bear created is unique – some donning tutus and scarves while others have little shorts and suspenders.
Dickerson said they hoped to finish about 150 before 10 May when they hand the teddy bears over to Friends of Child Protection.
"We are so grateful for the teddies provided to this organisation. We appreciate the dedicated service to the young victims of abuse. We appreciate the love and care that have gone into the cuddly little beings that pop into the comfort packs and out of them into the hands of a child in crisis," Flo Borchers of Friends of Child Protection said.
"When we receive the teddies, we will look at them, admire them and imagine them being hugged by the special young children. We appreciate every one we get."
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