Blessed By Beanies

By Lauren McMahon April 2008

Beanies She never imagined she would have a hand in knitting over 700 beanies for children she would never meet. But once Carol Pringle started, she just couldn't stop!

Carol Pringle is the New Zealand woman leading an army of knitters who are dedicated to providing children in need with warm woollies for winter.

GVN's Lauren McMahon interviewed Ms Pringle about the 'Beanies and Blessings' campaign which seems to be growing by the day!

GVN: Where did the idea to send beanies to children in need come from?

Pringle: A group of women from St Ronans Presbyterian Church, NZ, started knitting bootees to welcome new babies at the weekly Mainly Music Program. We went on to make beanies, which we sold to the families and raised $275 for health initiatives at Nepal Orphanages. We felt it would be great if we could make beanies for the children at the orphanage as well. A beanie made especially for them. A gift for each child. We aimed to make 240 beanies, which initially seemed like a large target. We made them and kept on knitting!

GVN: How many beanies have you and your army of knitters have made altogether?

Pringle: Since forming the group about 15mths ago we have made in excess of 700 beanies. We have also made more than 100 baby vests and about 40 pairs of baby bootees. We have just started on scarves as well.

GVN: Where in the world have you sent the beanies to?

Pringle: We have sent beanies to Nepal and Kenya through the Global Volunteer Network. We have also sent three parcels of beanies, vests and bootees to Afghanistan, to a local midwife who was working with the Red Cross at a hospital in Kandahar. Plus more beanies have left today and are headed for Mongolia!

GVN: Did you ever imagine you would be knitting beanies for children you have never met?

Pringle: I guess not, but it is a nice feeling knowing there are heads that are warm because of our beanies.

GVN: Is there a strong bond within the group of knitters from the experience?

Beanies Pringle: There is a bond among the knitters. I think too that some have found great pleasure and purpose in doing the knitting. The non knitters at St Ronans have helped supply wool and even paid postage when we have had to mail them. I think we have all been a little blessed by the beanies.

Our beanies are offered as a gift, at the Sunday morning service. A beanie isn't a large gift, but we know it will make a difference to someone. Their heads are warm and perhaps in their hearts they know that someone far away cares about them. We have no plans to stop knitting. What we saw as a one off project has snowballed and the enthusiasm among the knitters is fantastic. We have others beyond St Ronans joining us, so who knows what will happen.

GVN: What advice do you have for others who want to do something and make a difference in the world?

Pringle: Believe that you can make a difference and take that first step.

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