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Home : Community : Newsletters & Stories

Newsletters & Stories

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Stories from the Prayer Shawl Ministry
Charity Stories

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Charity Feature - Knit-a-Square
By: Lion Brand

Each month, we feature a charity that helps others through knitting and crochet. This month's charity is, which asks knitters and crocheters around the world to help provide warmth to South African orphans.

Knit-a-Square is a nonprofit organization that began in October 2008 and provides blankets for children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and extreme poverty in Africa. The organization works in association with Hotel Hope, a charity that provides food, shelter and love to children infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS.

Blanket made of squaresKnit-a-Square's role is to provide warmth by collecting handknit or crocheted squares from all over the world that are then stitched together locally by the Soweto Comfort Club, a church group in South Africa, to create blankets for children in Soweto and Johannesburg, South Africa areas, including those helped by Hotel Hope.

Knit-a-Square began when Sandy McDonald, the webmaster of Knit-a-Square who was born in Zimbabwe, and her mother Zanny were visited by aunt Ronda. Ronda told them about the efforts of her church group in Johannesburg, South Africa to help children living in terrible poverty and the chilly, below zero winters that these children faced. Ronda kept some cheap blankets in her car to give to children begging on the streets, but it was not enough. So Ronda and Sandy began Knit-a-Square to provide good quality, warm blankets to the suffering children of South Africa.

They hope to expand the charity to Zimbabwe where the Zimbabwe Comfort Club would sew the squares together.

Little boyThere are an estimated 11.6 million orphans in sub-Saharan Africa, including the estimated 1.4 million in South Africa alone. Knit-a-Square asks that volunteers knit or crochet 8x8 inch (20x20 cm) squares and send it along with 3 yards (2 m) of coordinating yarn for sewing squares together. They ask for warm, wooly yarns in bright colors to stimulate the children. We recommend Wool-Ease or Lion Wool, which come in bright colors that are great for kids.

Felted squares are also welcome and can be made from the Lion Wool. Knit-a-Square also welcomes wool scraps for stitching up squares and finishing off blankets.

For more specific instructions and to learn more about Knit-a-Square, please visit Click here to find out how to start your own Square Circle group and contribute squares to this organization.

Squares can be mailed directly to:
Soweto Comfort Club
Private Bag X900
Bryanston 2021
South Africa

Click here for postal instructions from Knit-a-Square to ensure that your package arrives safely.

Authored by Lion Brand

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