Gatton Angels' knitting mission
BEING able to provide warmth and solace to some of Australia's homeless during winter is why Gatton Guardian Pharmacy's David Cullen will continue to run the Guardian Angel Knitting Program each year.
In its 19th year, the program has given the gift of warm winter wear to over two million people facing hardship, and this year has partnered with the St Vincent de Paul Society to distribute the garments to those in need around Australia.
"For the fifth year, Gatton's community of knitters managed to create and donate 1811 garments, ranging from jumpers to beanies to blankets,” Mr Cullen said.
"It was astounding.
"The program is great for the elderly to give them a sense of community and being able to give back, and for younger people to learn the art of knitting.”
One of Gatton's star knitters is Clara Rosenblatt, who has been heavily involved in the program each year.
"She is a brilliant and very fast knitter,” Mr Cullen said.
"She, and the other angels continue to surprise us every year.”
A recent morning tea was held to honour the Gatton angels who donated their creations to St Vincent De Paul - who then distributed the garments to Vinnies shops and services - in a bid to provide each of the 105,000 homeless Australians with warm winter wear.
"We are looking forward to next year,” Mr Cullen said.
"For the people who can't knit, a donation of wool is appreciated too.
"The angels are more than happy to pass their skills on, so just pop in and we can point you in the direction of the knitting groups around.”
St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria Chief Executive Officer Sue Cattermole said they were grateful for the donations, which would help give dignity and comfort to Australians in need.
"Homelessness doesn't discriminate - it can affect people of all ages and backgrounds - and for the many people living on the streets of Australia each night, winter is a particularly hard time,” Ms Cattermole said.