Thursday, 31 March 2016

The handmade blanket

Words and photo: Patricia Cooper, Rotary Club of Mount Victoria, in Wellington, NZ
On a warm Wellington Monday morning in New Zealand, I opened a box marked “House 16”.  I was unprepared for what I saw; the item that caught my eye was a hand crochet woollen blanket tied up by a lace ribbon with the word “Welcome” attached to the bow.
It is moments like this that pull at the heart strings and what a wonderful gift for a refugee family settling in Wellington.
I was part of a group of people opening and checking boxes of household items for a refugee family settling in Wellington.  In the boxes being opened and checked were all the items needed to set up a household.
The call went out from the Catholic and Anglican Diocese of Wellington to parishes to please supply enough household items for 25 households.  Also requested were pantry items and housing warming gifts. Among the house warming gifts were TV, microwaves, vacuum cleaners and telephones
The response has been overwhelming, with many more items received than needed. All of these extra items will be stored for the next intake of refugee in a couple of months.
Of course planning for all this started many months ago and it’s not just about the setting up the households; there are work experience, confidence with driving and English lessons to be worked through.
Last year, I invited the Archdeacon of Wellington Father Stephen King to visit our Rotary Club of Mount Victoria to talk to us about how Rotary could help with this enormous project. Father Stephen suggested providing work experience for the refugees would be a great way for Rotarians could help.  Our club has already offered work experience for some refugees. 
If you can help with any of the opportunities mentioned, please contact Archdeacon Stephen King on + 64 272 100 780 or email