KNYSNA NEWS - About 130 hand-knitted teddy bears went to a worthy cause with great fanfare last week when a group of Knysna knitters completed their annual community project.
The avid knitters are residents of the Leisure Gardens retirement village on Leisure Island in Knysna. The youngest knitter is 82 years old while the oldest is 97.
The jovial knitters managed to complete 128 teddy bears – each unique in terms of colours and accessories – and donated the creations to an organisation called Friends of Child Protection in Cape Town on 10 May.
The knitters handed over their creations during a teddy bears picnic-themed party at Leisure Gardens and there to receive the toys was Knysna local Margaret Dane.
Dane posted an advertisement in a local publication calling on the public to assist her with wool donations to enable her to knit teddy bears for the cause.
The Knysna Knitters saw the advert and decided to do more than just donate wool. Every year the group embarks on a community project and decided to dedicate this initiative to assisting Dane in knitting teddy bears for the organisation.
Helping children of abuse
Friends of Child Protection 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 Knysna Knitters' teddy bears will be included in these packs.
Before the teddy bears were handed over to Dane, the group of women kicked off proceedings with the teddy bears' picnic song before digging in to some tasty treats.
Dane thanked the knitters for their hard work and told them that the love and care that went into creating the bears meant a lot to the recipients.
Each of the bears wears a scarf and Dane explained the significance of this accessory. "The children sit with the teddy bears and play with the scarves while they work through the trauma they had experienced. It is a soothing mechanism, so it is wonderful that each of these teddy bears has one."
The knitters started creating the bears in February and completed the last one by 10 May.
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