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Friday, May 6, 2022


(KZN Ambassadors Caroline Smart & Sue Eslick with Noma Mkhize & Adeline Chetty from 
Gift of the Givers. Pic by Ashley Eslick)

Two of South Africa’s best-known philanthropic organisations - 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela and Gift of the Givers - have this year joined forces to provide much-needed warmth to those in need over the cold winter months.

Under the leadership of founder Carolyn Steyn, 67 Blankets is currently putting the finishing touches to its Rainbow Nation Blanket of Hope project. This year, bright, colourful blankets made by member ‘KnitWits’ around the country will be displayed in an explosion of colour on May 11, 2022, at Steyn City School, Steyn City.

Gift of the Givers will then distribute the individual blankets to people in need ahead of what is expected to be a bitterly cold winter, giving small but meaningful tokens of hope to the rainbow nation.

“This year, we look forward to honouring all our frontline workers, who have worked so tirelessly and selflessly through the pandemic,” says Steyn, who was recently honoured with the French National Order of Merit.

“It’s the ideal opportunity to celebrate all our healthcare workers, teachers, police and emergency services workers, garbage collectors and all those who went out to work on the frontlines, often at great risk to themselves and their families. We hope the symbolic vision the Rainbow Nation Blanket of Hope represents will lift their spirits and remind them of their immense value after a difficult few years.”

Also on board as partners in the Rainbow Nation Blanket of Hope project are Médicins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), Stuttaford Van Lines (which will be collecting the blankets from around the country and transporting them to Johannesburg for the laying-out event) the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Auto and General.

However, this year the hundreds of blankets made by KZN KnitWits will not form part of the rainbow-hued display. That is because every blanket lovingly crafted by KnitWits in KZN were donated directly to Gift of the Givers in Durban on April 29, 2022, for immediate distribution to those suffering in the wake of severe flooding that hit the province earlier this month.

Hard-working and highly efficient KZN Ambassador Sue Eslick rounded up all the KZN blankets she could and, together with fellow ambassador Caroline Smart and Sue’s daughter Ashley, she delivered over 220 blankets to the Gift of the Givers office.

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