With a goal of 600 scarves and beanies, Penny Boden was blown away when she received a total of 1800 from the 67 Blankets KnitWits which means she can support even more children.
South Africa (28 July 2021) – 67 Blankets don’t only focus on blankets, they also knit up beanies and scarves to keep people warm through winter. This past Mandela Day, 1800 scarves and beanies were collected for two schools.
In December 2013, Zelda la Grange, late former President Nelson Mandela’s trusted assistant, presented philanthropist and ‘Arts Angel’, Carolyn Steyn, with a challenge: knit, sew or crochet 67 blankets!
These blankets would then be distributed to those in need on Mandela Day. In honour of Nelson Mandela, celebrated each year on the 18th July, Mandela’s birthday. The day was officially declared by the United Nations in 2009.
Carolyn gladly accepted Zelda’s challenge but soon she called on her friends for help and developed a Facebook group called “67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day”. In just days, hundreds of people from around the world had pledged to knit a blanket for Nelson Mandela Day.
Since then, 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day has transformed into what some are calling a “movement” – a movement that has captured the attention of many South African and international celebrities as well as corporates and “KnitWits for Madiba” in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Cyprus, London, the US and India.
This isn’t the first time the KnitWits, an affectionate name for all those who knit or crochet blankets. While the focus of the group has always been to give back in honour of Madiba, they work tirelessly to fly the South African flag high. The KnitWits even set and break world records. All in the effort to keep people warm through winter. They have previously knitted the world’s largest blanket portrait of Mandela (which was visible from space) and also knitted the world’s longest scarf.
Penny Boden, a fellow KnitWit, asked for help with 600 scarves and beanies. She wanted to make sure each child at the Maqamela School, in Kabokweni could have a nice beanie and scarf to combat this very cold winter!
Her fellow Knitwits went above and beyond, sending in over 1800 items which means Penny in the name of 67 Blankets, can hand out winter warmers at two schools!
The organisation knits blankets and scarves for the elderly, the underprivileged and even communities left with nothing after fires.
You can join the cause and become a KnitWit via their Facebook group here.