Our 'all-night-knit' in May was such a success and so popular, everyone has asked if it can become an annual fundraiser, and we’re thrilled with that idea. Watch this space for details of next year’s Yarn-a-Thon – we have decided we will be fundraising to support mental health and to raise awareness about it. After all, physical health is only one part of our overall health; emotional and mental health is essential for us all to function at our best and we’re excited to be supporting it.
This May we chose to support FCAV, Foster Care Association of Victoria, with our Yarn-a-Thon fundraiser, as their CEO Katie Hooper is a regular customer at Crumbz and a huge supporter of all our events. Katie was there at the Yarn-a-Thon knitting away with the rest of us and had been sponsored to make pairs of mittens for family and friends. There was a lovely moment when two young brothers popped in to see what was happening in the craftroom and Katie gave each of them a pair of mittens – they were stoked!! Here are their hands, already in their new mittens...
We set ourselves the target of raising $5,000 and thanks to an almighty effort from a brilliant group of crafters and support staff, we not only managed it, we exceeded it! The event was held over Mother’s Day weekend which we felt was fitting as carers play an essential role in mothering and nurturing their foster children. We started at 9am and throughout the weekend crafters came and went, some joining us for an hour sitting out on the pavement yarning away in beanbags in the sunshine and rattling the tin and telling passers by what we were up to and raising money for, local artist Denise Smith who holds regular art workshops at Crumbz donated her Saturday to us, and was in the shop with her pastels and easel, joining in and chatting to shoppers about the event.
As daylight waned and the shops around us shut, it became like a sleep over; people arrived in comfier clothes, with dinner provisions and made themselves a coffee to fuel them through the evening. Barry kept everyone going with bowls of soup and revellers stopped by after their night out to see how we were going and to wish us well. And all the while, the donations were growing, as kind souls emptied their pockets of change into the jar and online donations steadily poured in.
In the wee hours of the morning, as was to be expected, giggles of hysteria broke out a few times from people knitting away slumped in their beanbags, struggling with lack of sleep and the ‘everso slightly crazy’ feeling that goes with it. Fortunately, amusing youtube clips of dancing cockatoos sustained us and before we knew it Barry was outside firing up the BBQ to cook the graveyard shift their bacon and egg muffins, which signaled breakfast and the dawning of Sunday. This video (click here to watch) was shot just before 6am on Sunday and watching it back, I’m surprised we’re as articulate as we are!!
New recruits soon arrived which spurred us on as others left to go to Mother’s Day gatherings. We crafted til 4pm, spurred on by the regular updates of the fundraising tally and as the countdown towards the end began, the craft room began to fill with supporters and crafters keen to toast our success and the incredible amount we’d raised. As the clock struck 4pm a big triumphant shout went up and Champagne corks flew – and the tired and happy crafters congratulated themselves on a job well done and an amount well raised.
Our final tally was $5,240 and FCAV were bowled over by such a sum. In addition to the money raised, many people donated their beanies, scarves and mitts they had worked on over the weekend, to FCAV, to give to their wonderful foster carers and children and it was gorgeous to see the delight on their faces in photos that FCAV shared with us like this one:
FCAV CEO Katie Hooper sent us the following heartfelt thank you after our event:
“It was humbling to be knitting amongst fellow Healesville locals, dedicating the weekend to raise this money for foster carers. What a beautiful group of people, as well as those who made donations. It was a wonderful event.” Katie Hooper, FCAV CEO, Foster carer and Healesville local.
and this thank you from Tori, a local foster carer
“Thank you to Crumbz and all the knitters and donators. I really appreciate when local communities recognise the importance of carers. The Conference will be an opportunity to gain insight and learning which is so valuable in my role as a foster carer, Thank you Yarn a thon!” Tori Smith, Foster Carer, Mooroolbark.
The Yarn-a-thon exceeded all our expectations and the incredible sum raised will buy tickets, accommodation and travel for an additional 10 foster carers to attend the National Foster and Kinship Conference – Shine a Light coming up in September. The Conference is a once in a lifetime event for most foster carers and includes 40 different speakers across 2 days, learning from internationally renowned experts as well as the invaluable opportunity to speak with other foster carers in a learning environment.
And that, they say, is a wrap. :-)
Here are a few more pictures from the weekend, of the crafters and their finished items...