Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Knit A Square Challenge

I recently "met" Laurie from Kitty's Fiber Journey via Etsy a couple of weeks ago.  I really liked this project that she is working on and asked if she would mind sharing it here, since I know I have several knitters that read the blog.  Knitter or not, it's an interesting challenge!  

You can visit Laurie's blog, Kitty's Fiber Journey by clicking {here}.  You can also visit her Etsy store by clicking {here}.

Thanks so much, Laurie!

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I know that the new year is full of pledges and challenges that we are encouraged to make. Rather than be discouraged by all of this, I find it very encouraging. Aren’t these all just the signs that the new year is full of hope and that we have the desire to better ourselves or help others? I sincerely believe they are.

Percentage of adults infected by AIDS in 2009.

So, I invite you to join another challenge! This one is quite easy and yet has such a huge impact on the lives of children. We are all aware that the African continent is the one the hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic. What most of us ignore, myself included, is that the adults who die of AIDS leave their children behind. There are an estimated 1.9 million AIDS orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa. 500 children a day are made orphans by the combined ravages of AIDS and poverty. The majority of them are left to fend for themselves in shanty towns. Governments and charity organizations do what they can, but it is not enough.

Beautiful children  in beautiful KasCare blankets
Since 2008, the KasCare foundation has been taking donations of knit and crochet squares to make blankets that are then distributed to these poor children. The idea is ingenious. Why just a square? Because squares are quick and easy to create and they are small and light to ship. People from all over the world can contribute and for a small cost, send the squares to South Africa. Once in Africa, the squares are assembled into blankets by volunteers and even prison inmates!

 This cause is extremely important to me. I was in college in the early 1980’s when we finally started waking up to the atrocity of Apartheid in South Africa. I attended meetings and went to rallies, but we were all quite frustrated by the feeling of helplessness. What could we, a bunch of kids, half a world away, do to stop Apartheid? Well, South Africa is faced with yet another horrendous problem and this time I am not helpless. I can make a difference. I have joined the knit -a-squillion challenge. I will empty my stash and send beautiful squares to help warm these beautiful children!
Specifically, the goal of the  knit-a-squillion challenge is to collect 1,2 million squares by July 1st.

My goal is 500 squares by June 1, 2012. 
Will you join me? It's easy:

- Knit or crochet an 8” (20 cm) square (instructions)
- You aren’t a needle person? Upcycle a wool sweater by felting it and cutting it into squares (instructions)
- You want to do more? Hats and sweaters are also needed! (instructions)
- Make a donation on the knit a square site.
- Encourage family, friends, neighbors and colleagues to join.
If that isn’t enough, I have one more incentive! Everyone who sends squares to me will receive coupons from my new online yarn shop, Hands with Hearts! $1 per square, $3 per hat, $5 per sweater

Send your donations here:
Laurie Fortier
Hands with Hearts
3022, de la Rochelle
Québec, Québec
G1W 2B2
From the bottom of my heart and for all the orphans of southern Africa,


Sign up, grab a button, but most of all spread the word!


Laurie Fortier said...

Hi everyone! I am the Laurie in question and I just want to thank Alyssa for so generously offering me the chance to spread the message of Knit-a-square to you.

Thank you so much Alyssa!!

Sweet Posy Dreams said...

The word is really spreading! I've only finished two squares, gotta get busy!

Etsy Blog Team


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