As energy prices rise to new levels and the cost of living continues to increase, many of us are looking at ways to cut down on our heating costs. We’re putting an extra doona on the bed; throwing on a hoodie at home; burying ourselves under a blanket while we watch TV.
Yet for women who come into refuge often only with one set of clothes, these energy saving options don’t exist, and without the means to pay high energy bills, when they leave the warmth of refuge these women and their children face a cold, bleak winter.
This month, Knitting for the Needy donated 50 hand-knitted woollen blankets for families living in refuge. Each blanket had been lovingly knitted by someone who spent hours of their time creating something that is unique, colourful and beautiful, and the huge smiles that resulted expressed so much.
It was the gratitude of women realising that whether or not they are able to afford their energy bills, this winter their children will still be warm.
The smiles told another story, also. In this world of cheap mass-production and consumerism, knitted blankets are a rarity. One woman had tears in her eyes when she told refuge staff that her grandmother had knitted her a similar blanket when she was a child. Holding one took her back to a time when she felt safe and loved.
As she wrapped her blanket around her shoulders, she stopped speaking. She didn’t need to say more.
We would like to thank all the hard-working and compassionate members of Knitting for the Needy for these generous donations, so appreciated by the women in refuge, and sure to be treasured for years.