Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love. JRR Tolkien
Being at home working means that it’s quite difficult to manage any spontaneous small acts of kindness right now. I was kind to Mr Snail this morning by making leek and potato soup – his favourite, apparently – but it seems like a very small thing.
However, I have discovered a good way to do some crafty kindness… a lovely charity Knit for Peace. I came across them as a result of a Twitter post and am rather taken with their ethos:
Knit for Peace UK is an initiative of the Charities Advisory Trust. It grew out of projects we developed in Rwanda and India, which brought together women of traditionally hostile communities (Hutu and Tutsi war widows in Rwanda and Muslim and Hindu women in the slums of Delhi) to knit clothes for street children and orphans. We paid the knitters and distributed the clothes through local NGOs.
The funds came from the Good Gifts Catalogue (another of our initiatives). Knitters in the UK asked if they could knit for those in need, and we discovered there was a huge need for knitters to have someone to knit for. Once we said we would distribute donated knitting we found we were inundated.
Here at Knit for Peace we believe that knitting is good for people in all sorts of ways. As well as being fun and therapeutic, knitting brings people together and gives a way of helping others in need, providing benefits both to the knitter and the recipient. Based on our experience of developing Knit for Peace over the last few years, we have learned that knitting is extremely important as an activity that can be carried out right into extreme old age and helps improve long-term health.
Our policy is to encourage people to give, whether it is time or money. So we set about finding outlets. We now distribute regularly to over 80 outlets, including hospitals, women’s refuges, refugee drop in centres, prisons, community groups, and hospices as well as to developing countries. We never sell the clothes; we send them where they are needed. We also pass on donations of yarn and needles to enable people on low incomes to knit. The operation has grown organically, and we estimate we have over 11,000 knitters.
How great is that? They will accept all sorts of knitted items and find a good home for them. So any knitter/crocheter with a bit of time on their hands can contribute… whether you like making hats and scarves or blankets or cardigans, your work will be found a good home. This means, that I can manage a small act of kindness any time I like, just by picking up a hook or needles. I think that I’m going to start making granny squares, which can be turned into a blanket or dressing gown when I have enough.
So, can you cheer me up? Do you have any tips for being kind or any stories to share?