Hand in Hand for Syria – Spring Big Aid Drop

On Sunday, Anne (with an “e”) and I went to the Sewing for Pleasure show at the NEC in Birmingham courtesy of two tickets that I won from Sew Scrumptious blog. Whilst in the area there was somewhere else I was keen to call at. It was one of the Birmingham drop-off centres which was collecting donations of goods which would be sent to help Syrians by the charity Hand in Hand for Syria. Regular readers of my blog will know that this is a cause I keenly support.

Hand in Hand for Syria had published a list of items that were needed and I had been gathering what I could. People that I know have been generous in their donations for the charities I support. I had been given a huge number of knitted and crocheted items for The Great Syria Knitting Appeal, which Elizabeth and I handed over just a few weeks ago, and their giving has continued. It is difficult to explain how much I appreciate what they do. I think the best I can do is a most heartfelt ‘Thank You’ from me to each of them.

Knitted using donated 

As well as the blankets, scarves, cowls, hats and gloves that others had knitted or crocheted, there had been donations of yarn for others to use. I knitted the jumper in the above photograph using donated yarn. I must admit, however, that I over-estimated how far the pink yarn would go! I guessed that there would be more than enough for a knitted jacket for a 6/7 year old, plus another, small garment. In fact, there was not enough for the first garment but that is not why it ended up being a jumper! I was running out of time to complete it in time to be delivered to Birmingham so, to enable me to finish it sooner, I adapted the pattern into a jumper. The stripes are the result of too little pink yarn! I chose the colours and was pleased at how well they worked together. (I believe that if choosing and using colour doesn’t come naturally to you, then it helps to keep practising.)

Erica’s crochet blanket for
Hand in Hand for Syria

Last Friday, at Farnworth UCAN, Erica handed me this lovely crocheted blanket that she had made for me to pass on to Hand in Hand for Syria.

In addition to the knitted and crocheted items, I had also been given packs of disposable nappies, pencils, crayons and notebooks. By the time I packed everything that had been passed to me and added the bits I was giving, the boot of my car was almost full. Mind you, when I arrived at the drop-off point it didn’t take long to empty it again. There were plenty of volunteers who were happy to help.

There was a lovely atmosphere at the drop-off point. Everyone was there because they wanted to do something to help. I felt very welcomed. I was invited to see inside the building where donations were being sorted. As we were walking along my companion was obviously thrilled to be able to say that the ambulances we were passing were going to Syria. What a generous gift, and so desperately needed.

We entered the building where everyone was working hard but they all said ‘hello’ with a smile. I had a feeling of being part of what was going on, of being more ‘connected’ to the whole thing.

A lot of work is going on at that drop-off point as donations from other sites are being taken there to be packed into a container to go to Syria.

When I returned to the car and was preparing to leave, a woman approached us. She and another lady were working at a table. I had assumed that they were providing food for the volunteers but it turned out that they were selling food to raise money for Hand in Hand for Syria. They told us that as it was the end of the day they had reduced the prices and asked if we would like to buy some. Both Anne and I bought some samosas to take home plus a chocolate cupcake each to eat in the car. The cake was delicious and the samosas…? They were the best I have ever tasted!

The drop-off points operate several times a year. The proposed date for the next is 14/15 June 2014. For more details, please click here.

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