At Wool for Warmth, Yes! Is our favourite word. It opens up new avenues, leads us to new and often unexpected opportunities. Yes! started our charity. Yes! brought us a wool store donation. Yes! Started 70 clubs. Yes! brought us over 7,200 items of clothing to donate. We have said Yes! again. And now our wonderful volunteers are making face masks to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
The challenge is to produce FFP2-style masks to protect healthcare workers that visit patients in their homes and to offer to individuals who are at risk of infection. It started when Marcel Ruijken contacted us through the Wool for Warmth website. He asked if any of our volunteers could sew masks to protect second-line health professionals from the coronavirus.
We want to know if your group can also sew?
We asked and 20 people said Yes! And three people offered use of their sewing machines. And then 20 more sewers. We are not surprised because Wool for Warmth Volunteers are awesome and have stepped up to every challenge we have posed.
Within hours, we were organising the Sewing Facemasks Maak een mondmasker – Volunteer Makers and Crafters group on Facebook. I sprung into action and started sewing bags for the kits. Marcel organised the pattern, the material, and some funding. Volunteers were clamouring for kits and we started assembling them asap.
Zouher, a Syrian man living in the SOZA building where we have our office and Treasure Trove, streamlined the kit-making process by pre-cutting the fabric. He wanted to make the cutting easier for the sewers. All the while, Zouher was on a video chat with his mother in Jordan who is also sewing masks for a local organisation! Nice.
As usual at Wool for Warmth, our challenges require me getting on my bike and delivering kits! So we filled up the wagon with the first 10 kits and I headed off on a series of deliveries to our keen volunteers – from Bezuidenhout to Loosduinen, then back to my house in Rijswijk. Friday afternoon, 7 people took all 10 kits. Since then, the volunteers have been self-organising. Ellen is doing extra cutting because her sewing machine broke down. Yvonne and Ana Luisa are the queens of buttonholes. Sons and husbands are lending a hand with cutting and deliveries and Yvonne’s husband Paul volunteered to pick up all the finished kits to deliver to our workshop on Monday in time for a TV interview.
By Monday, we were approaching 500 completed masks! Everyday at Wool for Warmth we are surprised! But we shouldn’t be because our volunteers are awesome. At the same time, orders have started flowing in. 60 to a home-care organisation, 50 to a physiotherapist office, and individual sales to our volunteers and their families. And speaking of families, 30 are on their way to my sister in Canada. We are asking a donation of €1 for each mask.
Everyday at Wool for Warmth we are surprised! But we shouldn’t be because our volunteers are awesome.
Some have been asking if this is too different from knitting for the homeless. I say that it is exactly the same thing! We have a group of volunteers with crafting skills. We prepare and deliver kits. They use the kits. We deliver the end product. Usually, it is wool kits and the finished products are hats, scarves, and blankets, but this time it is masks. A group of individuals rising to a challenge and using their skills to help others. This is exactly our Corps of Volunteers. This is the group that knows how to say Yes!
How can you help?
- Say Yes! and join the sewers group on Facebook by clicking Sewing Facemasks Maak een mondmasker – Volunteer Makers and Crafters. That is where we are communicating everything!
- Do you know anyone that needs masks? Contact us by email at email@example.com.
- If you knit or crochet, don’t forget to ask for a scarf kit!!
There are 5 different ways you can help the homeless:
- Wool for Warmth works without subsidies and every month we need to raise €500. Please help by donating to our gofundme campaign: https://www.gofundme.com/f/knit-hats-and-scarves-for-the-homeless
- Contact us with donations of wool, knitting and crochet supplies, and knitting talent at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Start a club? Email us at email@example.com.
- Spread the word. Homelessness is growing and we have a lot of work to do.
- Follow us on Facebook and LIKE our page https://www.facebook.com/woolforwarmth/?view_public_for=2231732456915792