-So It’s Australia-based.
-Yep. We’re actually filming this episode of Tea With Shira in Australia. -Kidding, we’re not. We’re totally not.
-I wish! Hi everyone! I have a very good friend of mine actually that I just met 20 minutes ago, but I can feel our kindred spirits already. This is Ros, the coordinator and founder of KOGO from Australia. So KOGO stands for Knit One Give One,
which is a play on knit one purl one. Yes I was thinking that initially but then I didn’t say it. That’s pretty self-explanatory. What it means is you knit a garment and you give it away. Love it. We started in 2004. It was a very cold winter for us. One of my daughters said it’s cold.
There are homeless people. Your friends are knitting scarves, they live
in heated houses. Let’s do something about it. So we got together friends and family, made 180 scarves and that was basically the start of KOGO. And it just rolled on from there. -I know that you’re very proud of your numbers
-Mm-hmm. And I love that. And I would love for everyone to know how many garments you have collected and sent out. -Since we started, nearly half a million.
-Wow. That is, that’s a lot! It is a lot. We supply about 300 organizations and really they cover pretty well anyone in need. So it can be refugees, it can be children and mums fleeing from domestic violence, families that are doing it tough. And then of course the homeless. And so it’s not just hats and scarves though. It’s more than that. We accept everything. So garments and blankets, -and knitted or crocheted toys.
-Wow. The organizations we supply send us what we call an order. -They may want 20 blankets and 50 beanies.
-Mm-hmm. -So that’s what we send them.
-That’s great. So this is really just Australia based but you have people international knitting for you and crochet. We have had a couple of,
we’ve got a regular knitter from Singapore, who sends stuff to us. But mainly it’s around Australia. -I’ve got about 5,000 knitters around Australia
-Wow. And then every Tuesday morning we have a group of about 20 volunteers come in. And a lot of them aren’t knitters, so we unpack whatever’s coming, sort it out, label it with a little tag that says
“handmade with love by KOGO”. That’s the most time-consuming part, but it’s done so that people who receive these things know they knew, which isreally important. In our winter months we can send out about two or three thousand a week. Wow. -And that’s done within a three hour period.
-That sounds, wow! That’s amazing! What kind of advice would you give to
people out there? Okay well one of the things I learned very early on was when you’re knitting or crocheting
for people who are homeless, -don’t make bright colors.
-Interesting. They like to blend in. -But the opposite to that,
-Yeah? -is the blankets we make, it’s lovely to have lots of color.
-Mm-hm. Recently I went to an organization that is a refuge for women who are homeless. And their social worker said that the women love the color of the blankets, because they have no color in their lives. -Wow. It’s heavy stuff.
-It’s heavy stuff. And it’s powerful. I mean I’m sure they’re all magnificent because they’re all made with love. Are there any things that maybe stand out to you? One particular knitting comes to mind, and she buys children’s books and knits the main character in the children’s books. And then we give them away as Christmas presents to kids and refuges from domestic violence. -And that’s one that comes to, you know, top of mind.
-Oh God I could cry. -But yes so you will see that on Facebook.
-Wow that’s really special! -Knitters and crochets they’re just like
-They’re givers. My goodness. It’s out of control! Thank you so so much for coming by. I love how this all just worked out. You know this time of year of giving is so important. We’re able to sit at home and realize, you know, how lucky we are that we have a roof over our head. And we have our family or we have our friends. There are some people out there that
don’t have that. Even if it’s an hour cowl, you know it goes so much further than you can ever imagine. And it means so much more than you realize. It is so special because it warms them emotionally as well as physically. -You cannot underestimate it.
-I could not say it better myself. If there is an American package that comes through,
it’s because of Tea With Shira. Guys let’s team effort. Let’s make Tea With Shira go international alright? Well Ros, thank you so much for joining me with a very needed cup of tea. For more information about Ros and what she does you can go to the link below. You can help me point. Down there, yeah. You can give this video a big thumbs up and remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel. And you can find more wonderful Tea with Shira like this. Do you have a question for them out there? I’d just like to know which charities do you knit for? And what you make for them? I like that. So remember to leave your comments below! And again thank you so much for joining us. -Thank you! Bye everyone!
-No thank you very much. It was lovely. -You’re an amazing person.
-No -Yeah you are.
-No, I don’t think so. It’s the people that say no, cause I always say yes. The people that say no are the really amazing people.