Knitters busy with creations for charity

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Knitwits knitting group members (from left) Rose McDonald, knitters Judith Watson and Lenore Mathieson with Mission Without Borders Southland convenor Dawn Wallace.

BLANKETS, jerseys, hats, slippers, scarves, handmade quilts and children’s clothing – many Southlanders have knitted and crocheted all sorts of items for the charity Mission Without Border’s annual Operation Cover Up.

Operation Cover Up members sent the items to people in need, including the homeless, elderly, children and others in Eastern Europe.

Southland convener Dawn Wallace said hundreds of items were made locally each year for the cause.

The handmade items were created by people from throughout Southland, including Invercargill, Tapanui, Stewart Island, Te Anau, Manapouri, Lumsden, Winton and Gore.

Many church groups were involved in the project, as well as rest-homes.

“Sixteen groups of people throughout Southland, as well as many individuals”, made the items, she said.

Some of the knitters had told her the Covid-19 lockdown had “been wonderful” as an opportunity to knit many items.

Some of the knitters worked as a group, with some contributing strips or squares, which were sewn together by another person to make blankets.

“The contributions are increasingly generous and I think people realise so many need the support over there [in Eastern Europe], with so many having nothing.”

Although Mission Without Borders was celebrating its 60th year, Operation Cover Up was also celebrating its 20th year, Mrs Wallace said.

A newsletter from the organisation summed its achievement up.

“Twenty years ago we sent our first consignment of blankets and other needed items from New Zealand to Eastern Europe. What started in Taupo as a prayer request for 67 blankets for a Moldovan Orphanage has steadily grown in 20 years to over 143,000 blankets and countless other items.”

Items made by the group went to six countries throughout Eastern Europe, including Moldova, Ukraine, Bosnia, Albania, Bulgaria and Romania.

However, before they headed overseas, Southlanders would have the opportunity to view the crafters’ hard work.

The items would be displayed at Holy Trinity Anglican Church hall in Windsor, on Friday, July 17. There would also be a sales table.

Everyone was welcome, Mrs Wallace said.

Because the Covid-19 situation made shipping items “really difficult”, they may not be able to be sent in August as in previous years, she said.

If that was the case, storage had been arranged.

As with a project of this size, donations of wool were always gratefully received, she said.

Anyone who would like to donate items, or wool, were welcome to bring them to the display, or phone Mrs Wallace on 021 0823 9892.

  • Mission Without Borders Operation Cover Up Southland display, Holy Trinity Anglican Church hall, King St, Windsor, Friday, July 17, 10am-2pm. All welcome.
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