Thanks to Allied Aid’s “Give Warmth” program, Americans can knit to keep refugees warm this autumn and winter
If you follow me on Facebook at the Knitting for Charity page, you may have seen the post I shared there from Allied Aid. (And if you haven’t liked the Knitting for Charity Facebook page, you really should! There’s a great little community there.)
As you may know, I feel quite passionate about the refugee crisis. I simply can’t imagine being forced to flee from your country for your life and trying to settle someplace else, all the while wishing you could return home and fighting terrible memories of war, of what may have happened to your loved ones.
I’ve been thrilled to help publicize many of the knitting initiatives that have begun with the purpose of helping refugees stay warm and just know that they aren’t forgotten or abandoned, that we love and care for them. Check out the “Refugees” category under “Knitting Charities by Recipient” to see more articles about such programs.
Today I’d like to share more information about Allied Aid and its various programs, including the one in which we as knitters can help.
About Allied Aid
I am fortunate to have communicated directly with Lily Kimbel, one of four Americans and one Greek-Canadian who run Allied Aid. The mission of Allied Aid is simple: it provides critical aid to refugees in Greece. I’ll quote her directly here:
“The five of us met on an aid distribution trip to Greece in March with an organization called Carry the Future, where we met the ferries carrying refugees from the islands in order to outfit the moms and dads with baby carriers to help lighten their loads. It was cold there even in March, and I recall digging frantically through our bags and pulling out any hats, gloves, and socks to provide some warmth.
“These families have traveled from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan with only a few bags per family, and, now that the borders are closed, there are over 60,000 of them stuck in Greece, mostly living in tent camps loosely supported by the Greek government.
“Our group started informally with a campaign to raise funds to purchase a van to be used by volunteers for aid distribution, simply because we realized we couldn’t leave Greece without doing something more enduring. Since then, we’ve run two other campaigns: one to collect and distribute sunhats, sunscreen, and sandals (“SunSafe”), and another for new underwear (“UndieFund”).
“Our fourth and latest campaign (“Give Warmth”) is focused on collecting, sewing, and knitting hats, gloves, and socks. Personally, I had learned to do some basic knitting back in college to help me get through the stress of exams, and I’ve only recently picked it back up to learn to knit hats. I’ve been telling people that I’ve graduated from “rectangles” to “circles.” 🙂 Luckily, I have the help of some more seasoned knitters, like my aunt, who is close to finishing 100 hats!”
“Give Warmth” is where knitters like you and I can really make a difference. So let’s learn more about it!
How You Can Help the Allied Aid “Give Warmth” Campaign
Returning my virtual microphone to Lily, here’s what she had to say about the “Give Warmth” campaign.
“We’re shooting for 1000 each of hats, gloves, and socks by our first distribution trip over Thanksgiving. We’re encouraging people to get the word out to folks who knit, sew, and/or would like to organize a collection in their communities. For example, I hosted a knitting and sewing party in San Jose, CA, on Oct. 15 and would love to see others do the same.”
Their initial deadline is November 12, as their first team is heading to Greece over the Thanksgiving holiday, and they’d like to offer as much aid as possible. Lily stressed, though, that she doesn’t want to dissuade anyone from continuing to knit. “The aid is badly needed,” Lily said, “and we are working out follow-up trips in December and February.”
Have items ready to send? You can send them to the following mailing address:
℅ Natalie Feulner
PO Box 6305
Hayward, CA 94545
As you can see, this organization is based in California, so if you’re an American who has wanted to knit for refugees but shied away because of the costs of shipping items oversees, this is a great opportunity for you!
I’m really excited about Allied Aid’s “Give Warmth” campaign, and I hope that many of us will be able to help keep refugees warm this autumn and winter!