Anniversary, Corona Virus

Coronavirus Survival Guide: The Treasure Trove gets a Spring Cleaning for its 1st Birthday. Boy, does it deserve it!

To say that the Wool for Warmth Treasure Trove has been used to capacity would be the understatement of the year. We opened it exactly one year ago and has been in constant use every minute since – supporting tasks that we didn’t image when it opened.

Over a metric tonne of wool has been donated to make 2500+ hats and scarves, support 70+ knitting clubs, 20+ adult blankets, 30+ baby blankets, plus slippers, socks, mittens, sweaters and all the other things our volunteers make to help the homeless. All donated to homeless shelters.

Over 1000kg or 2200 pounds of leftover wool was donated in the past 12 months!
Operations spill into Anna & Co common room to prepare for winter donations to Kessler Stichting and Straatpastoraat
We spend a lot of time sorting wool because your demand is insatiable!

Monique’s clothing-collecting superpower brought in 7200+ items of used clothing. Not just clothing, but shoes, blankets, bikinis, and even a fondu set. This was also sorted and collected in the Treasure Trove. And shampoo. And toiletries. And bags. And luggage. And so on. All donated to charities, shelters and crisis centres.

Clothing donations up to the ceiling
At one point, we just walked on the bags because we couldn’t find the floor
Thijs and the Team at the Kessler Stichting made several collection trips to the Treasure Trove
At one point, the room was filled to the ceiling and we spilled into the hallway

Then there are the 1000+ sets of knitting needles. Plus crochet hooks, craft supplies, sewing implements and notions. We have pattern books, racks, filing cabinets, shelves, and so much more. Half the knitting needles have been distributed through our clubs and the other half are stored in the room.

And the supplies to make coronavirus medical masks. 1300 made so far.

On top of all that is the Breikorf wool store with its shelves and shelves of premium wool.

And volunteers from at least 20 different countries.

Once, Eshete lost his phone in the room for 1 full week before we could find it.

If you are imagining a big storage room, organised by projects with work tables and project areas, you would be wrong. Flat wrong. It is almost unimaginable how small our room is in relation to the output created there.

The Treasure Trove is 5m x 4m = 20sqm. 215sqft for people that don’t use metric.

I repeat 20 square metres. 215 square feet. One room. Even though I live it daily, I still can’t believe it. Even the ceiling tiles are pushed up in some places because things were piled up to the ceiling. Sometimes it is three dimensionally full- more like a shipping container than a workroom. Once, Eshete lost his phone in the room for 1 full week before we could find it. And more stuff keeps coming in (and PLEASE keep it coming!!).

We are Spring Cleaning the Treasure Trove to prepare for an expected surge in poverty and loneliness in the fall caused by the Corona Virus.

The closure of our office for Covid 19 is giving us an unexpected opportunity to organise for September. Because of the severity of the virus, we are expecting a surge in demand for hats and scarves because we are expecting a surge in homelessness and poverty. This is a terrible expectation. This is why we are here. Our volunteers are busy knitting and crocheting through the summer to get ready for the fall. And we are going to get our small, overworked room ready as well.

Sorting and Packing

  • Wind wool and sort into type, separate into bags for the clubs
  • Pair hats and scarves into sets
  • Pair needles by size
  • Clothing donations by type
  • Pack into bags and boxes for delivery in the fall
  • Complete all the “finishing” that needs to be done. Sewing in ends, quality checks of the current hats and scarves, etc.
  • Deliver wool bags to clubs so 100% of wool is in action during the lock-down
  • Any stuff we don’t need should be sold

Cleaning and Completing

  • Empty the room into the hall (easy since there is no one working there at the moment!)
  • Clean all surfaces and shelves with soapy water
  • Organise the room in the best way possible as per Operations Team’s advice
  • Finish sewing new club wool bags from donated fabric and old woollen blankets
  • Finish laying the carpets
  • Vacuum

Optimising not just the Treasure Trove, but the Whole Organisation

While I am working alone to clean up (it is to small and full to have a second person and follow social distancing) and Richard is completing the carpets,

  • The Operations Team is working on the processes to make our production more efficient
  • The Human Resources Team is participating in the Haags Keurmerk voor Vrijwilligersorganisaties program to create and certify our human resource procedures
  • HR is also busy interviewing and hiring new volunteers
  • The Funding Team is applying for funding and we have been shortlisted for two opportunities
  • The Public Relations Team is improving the website and creating a Social Media Strategy
  • The newsletter is almost complete
  • The clubs are knitting and crocheting within the rules of the lockdown
  • I continue (with mask and gloves) to cycle around The Hague picking up wool donations, dropping off mask sewing kits, picking up hats and scarves, and keeping the charity going.

By the end of the Corona Virus lockdown, we plan to be fully prepared, certified, organised, and staffed for the fall. We are expecting a surge in homelessness, poverty, and loneliness caused by the Corona Virus and we plan to be ready.

So Happy Birthday Treasure Trove. Our gift to you is to prepare you for the year to come.

There are 5 different ways you can help the homeless:

  1. 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
  2. Contact us with donations of wool, knitting and crochet supplies, and knitting talent at woolforwarmth@gmail.com
  3. Start a club? Email us at woolforwarmth@gmail.com
  4. Spread the word. Homelessness is growing and we have a lot of work to do.
  5. Follow us on Facebook and LIKE our page https://www.facebook.com/woolforwarmth/?view_public_for=2231732456915792

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