Dasani

As the main page of the New York Times opened up, a headline from the sidebar caught my eye.

‘Over 22,000 homeless children in New York city …”

What?  So much?  I clicked on the article to read it.  It was the last of a five-part series, and so I started from the top.

‘Invisible Child’ – an investigative series by Andrea Elliot of the New York Times, follows Dasani and her family for about a year.  It chronicles the daily life of a homeless child, their highlights, and more often than not, the downsides of daily life.

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Image courtesy of the New York Times

As I read the series, I was dismayed.  We see the homeless adults walking about on the street;  but we don’t see the children of these.  We see a family out on the street, and as we look at them, we can see that they are low-income families.  But I don’t see them as homeless.  And as I read the article, this is what I am thinking.  They are not homeless – the government provides a shelter for them.  A horrible place to stay in and live, to be sure, but there is a place for them to go to at night.  They are not out on the street; they don’t have to sleep out on the street.

But as the article shows, being ‘homeless’ just doesn’t mean that you are living out on the streets and sidewalks, under bridges, ramps, or against a fence.  It also means that you don’t have a permanent place of your own, where you can sleep knowing that you are safe under a roof.  It also means that you have to put up with a government-run shelter, living in a one-bedroom apartment, and subject to the bureaucracy of a government that cannot provide a building with good living conditions.

How the government can allow families to live in conditions such as those shelters that Dasani and her family were staying in is another discussion for another time.  I only hope that with the attention that Dasani and this piece is getting right now will continue on to the upper levels of the government, and that they will actually do something about improving the system.

At the end of the series, Dasani and her family have moved to another government shelter, on the west side of Manhattan.  This one looks to be considerably better than the one they left; it’s an actual apartment, with a kitchen.  I hope to see Dasani one day, and see how she is doing.  With the exposure brought on by this article,  I do hope and pray that she breaks the cycle of life that she has been born into.

I will be looking into how we can help with helping the children of the shelters.  That’s a whole new world that I am now aware of.  And when I see children running about on the streets, I will be thinking of this article and Dasani.

I hope you do too.

 

 

 

King Gopher, THD

Here’s a cause that was brought to my attention, and although it’s not for the homeless, I was immediately hooked when I read that hats and scarves were needed for gifts for children who had lost their hair due to their medical conditions.  Best of all, it’s being given to them by King Gopher – a therapy and helping dog!  Isn’t that wonderful?

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HRH King Gopher, THD

 

I know that you’re all busy these days with your Christmas gifts and other personal causes.  But in between the soon to come hectic chaos, one can whip up a hat and scarf set for a child in green and purple colours (two of my favourite colours, by the way!)

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Image courtesy of HRH King Gopher

Complete details on the cause can be found here.

I’m off to dig through my stash – I know I have green and purple yarn in the boxes somewhere.

Hope you join me.

 

Three Boxes Full

Big donation in … Diane, from Clifton, NJ dropped off three boxes of hats, scarves, and gloves!  Thank you so much!

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And she has also nicely matched and bundled them up, ready for giving.

And this is the best idea yet … Buy the gloves, and then knit or crochet a hat and scarf to match the gloves, and you’ve got an almost-instant set!

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Isn’t that a great idea?  I don’t know how to knit mittens and gloves … why didn’t I think of that before?  Those ‘magic’ one-size-fits-all gloves from the 99-cent stores are always good; I’ve seen some good ones on sale at Walmart’s too.

I’m getting all excited to start this up again, specially now that the cold winds are here.

Aren’t you?

Fall is Here!

Fall is here!

Hope you’re all doing fine, and had a good summer!

The summer breezed by me so fast, it ended too soon.  And somewhere in between, none of the hats I was working on would work out … it was too big, it was too small, it had a weird shape, it wouldn’t take shape …

A friend said that it was still too hot to make hats, so maybe I should wait until the weather got cooler.

Well, it’s 20 degrees cooler here now … maybe the hats will take shape when I work on them?

Here’s what I managed to finish so far.  I wanted to try out Lion Brand’s new yarn, Unique.  That’s the two blue hats in front – the big one on the right, and the smaller one in the middle.  Then there’s the red-fuschia-orange-brown behind them.  I love variegated yarn … it makes for interesting colour patterns without the hustle of colour changes, when you don’t have time for that.  The pattern is a simple single crochet all around, or half double crochet around.   On the other hats, I started off with the ribbed pattern for the NYCHHI Hat, then finished off the body with the crochet seed stitch for a bit of texture.

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I’m also finally getting a chance to open up the packages received over the summer.  If you’ve sent something in, apologies that it’s taking so long to acknowledge and post photos of your items.  It’s been such a hectic summer, but I promise that I will be posting them.

Thanks for all your help and support of this cause!

Covenant House New York

Covenant House was started over 30 years ago in the lower east side of Manhattan, when six young runaways were given shelter during a snowstorm.  Today, there are programs in 21 U.S. cities and Latin America, and over 70,000 young people come to Covenant House for shelter.

Hook:  H8/5.0mm

Covenant House New York is the largest adolescent care agency, serving the homeless, runaway and at-risk youth.  On average, 300 youth come through the doors of Covenant House New York each night for shelter and nourishment.  I imagine that perhaps more than that will enter through the doors during the cold months of winter.

This will be an ongoing need for the winter items, and I am aiming for 500 items to be donated to Covenant House New York by the end of the year.  But however many we can make will help keep one more youth warm.

Need:       hats, scarves, blankets
Size:         for 16-21 year olds
Amount:   500 (items)
Target:     October – November 2013

Please join us in helping the nation’s youth to keep warm during the winter months.

The NYC-HHI Hat: Ribbed and Striped

The pattern for the NYCH-HHI Hat: Ribbed and Striped is out!

I’ve fiddled around with this so much, I think that it’s ready.  This is the first time I’ve tried to write out a pattern, and then test it to see if it does what it’s supposed to.  I think that it does, but if you do come across something that doesn’t work out, please let me know.

Looking forward to seeing all your creations with this pattern.

Now … to work on a knit version.  Or would somebody like to take up that challenge?

Giving Back: To the Community

During the recent food drive period, our Church was collecting for 25 needy families in our town.

I looked at the church bulletin and re-read the paragraph again.

In previous years it was also a collection not only for the needy in our town, but also for a communal county food drive.  This time, it was just for the needy in our town.

Wow … So many needy families in our town?  I didn’t expect that.  Is our town really faring so bad these days because of the economy?

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And so, to give back to the community, I am organizing a winter items collection for the 25 needy families in my town.    A hat and scarf set would be nice.  If not, then enough hats and scarves for the whole family.

50 hats and 50 scarves for adults
50 hats and 50 scarves for children

I hope you join me, giving back to the community.