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‘Tis the season of ‘good-wool’




Said Carolyn Steyn, founder of the “67 Blankets” – of which Jewish Report last year was an enthusiastic participant with the paper’s readers taking this worthwhile project to heart: “We launched this campaign almost a year ago with the hope of collecting just 67 blankets to distribute on Nelson Mandela Day in July 2014. To my surprise, we managed to collect over 6 000 blankets instead, thanks to our global base of loyal supporters or “KnitWits for Madiba” as we like to call ourselves.

She said in a media release: “Over the past year, many people have asked me how they could get involved in this incredible initiative, despite the fact that they can’t knit or crochet. We now have a solution.”

This week Tuesday evening saw the first “birthday” of 67 Blankets at a well-attended bash at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund building in Houghton. The entrance “fee” was appropriately – a blanket. To celebrate the birthday, Steyn organised for well-known artists such as PJ Powers to perform. There was also a draw, with “number 67” winning a well-stocked goody bag.

The aim this year is 21 000 blankets by May, to be spread out at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, in pursuance of a Guinness Book of Records acknowledgement.

Steyn says 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day has established drop-off points across the country for wool donations. The wool will then be distributed to knitting enthusiasts and transformed into beautiful blankets for those less fortunate.

“There are so many people out there who can and want to knit, but don’t have the resources to do so. For example, we have just officially launched the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day initiative at the Zonderwater Correctional Centre. 

“The prisoners have already crocheted a number of squares for us and are so eager to make thousands more – they just need the materials.”

She hopes that in a continuation of the spirit of the festive season, South Africans will donate generously. “We do not accept money and trade only in wool. In fact, we rely on the ‘good wool’ of people.”

* If you would like to contribute wool, and help those in need, please visit the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day (South Africa) Facebook Group or visit<>. Alternatively, you can call 0617 676 767.

Last year announcing Jewish Report’s wholehearted support for the project, Jewish Report’s general manager. Karen Knowles said: “Madiba’s legacy lives on in each blanket we produce with our own two hands.

“The Jewish Report is challenging the broader Jewish community to support this initiative. We are asking young and old, individuals, businesses and schools to join 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day, by knitting or crocheting a blanket or squares for blankets which will then be collected for delivery to various charities.”

Karen may be contacted at 082-855-2131.


How can the Jewish community get involved?


1. Start knitting a blanket or squares today. 

2. Challenge other Jewish businesses/retirement homes/schools/individuals etc to compete with you by committing to making blankets.

3. Should you not be able to join this inspiring project yourself, you can also sponsor schools and old aged homes by supplying wool and needles so they can get involved.

Last year, in a colourful evening, hosted by Daphne Kuhn at Auto and General Theatre on the Square in Sandton, on which a completed hand-made blanket was requested in lieu of a ticket price, “several hundred” blankets were received: some were knitted, others crocheted, there were blankets in bright colours and others in sober hues, with cute brocades and special expert wool tricks embedded.

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