Saturday, May 28, 2011

Now Where Was I?

It's been a busy week with paid work intruding into my sewing time and I'm sorry that I've neglected my blog a bit. I've been working on sewing the flannel squares into 9 patches for backing blocks for QAYG blocks whenever I'd had some time and I've also managed to finish off a few more QAYG quilts and have shown more photos on my other blog.
I also received 13 more lovely beanies knitted by Jenni S. and Sophia F. (Vic) and they will be on their way this week to a group in Qld who are helping the homeless who have been displaced by the floods. I have also been busy getting quilts ready to send to them for distribution and will give an update of the numbers very soon.
I've also included a report from the group who have been distributing the items to the homeless in Brisbane (Qld) as I think it helps to know what is needed and can be used by those who need some help with quilts and warm garments. I'm also including another part of the report on my other blog.

I don't have many "special stories" to share but I helped one young man with a beautiful little boy in a pusher. Baby's name was William and he will be one next week. Dad has full custody of him, don't know why, but they are living in a car at present as he can't find any rental accommodation. all dad originally wanted was a blanket for William because "the car is getting colder and colder". Well William ended up with a couple of blankets, jumpers, some child's socks/bed socks; beanie, toys etc etc. Dad asked if he could keep a toy aside to give to William for his birthday next week as he couldn't afford to buy him anything "nice" for his birthday.
Dad brought William back to me later to show me that William had had his first ever haircut. So cute, but I noticed Dad had also had a haircut and was looking pretty good himself, and he was thrilled when I mentioned it! It was difficult to get Dad to take anything for himself, all he wanted was things for Will. He did tell me that since he has had William, he does not smoke, drink or do drugs, everything "has to be just perfect for William". He wasn't saying that because he thought that's what I wanted to hear, it was very obvious that he would walk over hot coals for his son. But I did get Dad to take a beanie, scarf for himself by telling him "if you get sick because you are cold, who is going to look after William"? He hadn't thought of that before!

My other "special" was a lady who told me she was 77. Had been on the streets for 9 months then got upset, so didn't ask her any questions as to why etc. She had a battered old pull along trolley with her, that held all her possessions. I did ask whether she had a "permanent" place in a park or whatever but she said No, because once she stayed 3 nights in the same place and the police moved her on and she was so upset because never had she been in trouble with the police before. So every day she just moves around the city/Valley area looking for something "with a roof" where she can stay, but even most of the hostels etc are full. I asked if she slept in parks mainly or what and she said she would normally find somewhere where there were lots of bushes and she slept in amongst the bushes! I thought as much as I had noticed some dead twigs sitting in her hair. But such a well spoken, very quietly spoken lady. I seriously think she was probably originally from a "well to do" background and whatever has happened to her has brought her to this stage.
She was so grateful for even a scarf...kept saying "are you sure, dear'? I loaded her up with a blanket, couple of beanies, scarves etc. Would have love to have given her a jumper but they were all gone by that stage!

The newspaper report yesterday said that on any night there are 45,000 young people who are homeless and 25,000 families. It's not usually seen by most of us and I think it's shameful that we give so much to other countries but fail to look after our own communities.
Sorry that's my rant for the day and I'm off to finish another crocheted blanket as the nights are cold and I'm grateful for my warm and comfortable chair, with a good light and food and a warm cup of tea whenever I need one.
I feel very grateful that so many of you feel the same and support these quilt appeals as well as with your lovely knitting.
Warm hugs, Jan Mac


Merilyn said...

My Goodness Jan!!! what sad stories....there but by the grace of God.......
Thankyou for all that you do!

jacaranda said...

You are a wonderful person Jan, we need more like you in this world.
I am so pleased my simple knitting is helping someone less fortunate.
Thank you Jan.

Jan Mac said...

Thank you both for your very kind comments. I regard myself as very fortunate to have so many generous supporters who enable us to help so many people.

kaiteM said...

Jan i kept thinking about these people today and wondering where on earth they live - do they all live in either their cars or under bushes? are the flood evacuation shelters closed now - it seems so cruel.

Jan Mac said...

Kaite, It seems to vary according to how long they have been homeless. Many are staying with family and friends but that wears thin after a shirt time. Families seem to be living in cars as they haven't been able to get rental accommodation. I think many of the older people are reluctant to say where they stay as they don't like to admit that they are homeless. I have a petition asking for more affordable housing which I'd be happy to have signatures for if I can work out how to do it online. I'll check that out tomorrow. It's hard to forget about an elderly woman of 77 who is homeless and I guess that's what keeps me making these comfort quilts with help from all of you.
Hugs, Jan Mac

kaiteM said...

Jan i'm wondering whether a sleeping bag type of arrangement would be suitable. Fold a flannelette sheet in half lengthwise and stitch up the side and base, maybe include another layer on the outside somehow, even a nylon waterproof base.
What do you think? i've seen one somewhere, there was a woman on the tv, New Inventors i think who had made them and they incorporated a built in bag.