The annual display of blankets knitted by members of the local Operation Cover-Up team will take place next Thursday – almost a month earlier than usual.
The July 7 display will be at the Cambridge Baptist Church in Queen St. The following day, all the knits and other donated products will be packed up for shipping to Eastern Europe.
Operation Cover-Up (OCU) links with the Christian charity, Mission Without Borders, to send knitted blankets and clothes to children in orphanages and struggling communities in countries that include Moldova, Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Albania and Croatia. The initiative spread internationally, coming to New Zealand in 2000 and to Cambridge a year later. Most of the work locally is done by members of the Knitters and Natters group.
Pat Smith, one of the OCU organisers, said the goods were being displayed and sent abroad a month earlier than usual due to international distribution delays being experienced by Mission Without Borders.
“They want to ensure the donations reach their destination by Christmas and sending it from here in August will be cutting that too fine,” she said.
Pat also said that events in Ukraine have added another element this year. Until now, the call has been for knitted clothes for children aged from school-age upwards, but the war in Ukraine and the pressure being experienced in neighbouring countries means Mission Without Borders now needs warm clothing for babies and toddlers as well.
“Many Ukrainians have fled to Moldova and other countries which are finding it increasingly difficult to cope,” Pat said. “There are also calls this year for hygiene products, things like nappies, sanitary products, toothbrushes and the like.”
Pat said anyone willing to donate items along those lines could do so during next week’s blanket display, which will be open from 10am to 1.30pm.
She is also calling for people to help swell the numbers of Knitters and Natters. They meet at the Cambridge Brass Band Hall in Vogel St from 1.30-3pm on the first and third Thursdays of each month, or from 7-8.30pm on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.
More information is from Pat Smith on 07 827 1910.