At the Common Cod Fiber Guild a few weeks ago, I told them a story about how the bigger culture's impression of knitting has changed, thanks to the internet. This particular story came from my friend Kendall Buhl. Kendall is married to one of the most beautiful women I know, they have two fantastic kids, and they own and run an especially wonderful karate dojo in town, where I practice karate (I'm a second degree brown belt). Kendall is also a radio news anchor for WBZ 1030AM in Boston, an on-call firefighter in Ipswich, a third degree black belt, and a fantastic teacher. He used to be an Associated Press reporter in Southeast Asia for much of the 90's, so the guy has some credentials in just about anybody's book. In this story, Kendall was at a dinner party sitting across the table from a woman who identified herself as a knitter. Knowing me, and having been part of my support network for the last few years and seen Twist Collective emerge from idea to a going concern, Kendall was able to drop a few knitterly bits into his conversation with her, and she was thrilled. When Kendall told me this story, he then said: "I felt soooo cool." Kendall "gets" the knitters.
Okay, new story.
This big guy is Kevin Groder. Kevin, his wife Tammy, and their family started coming to Kendall's dojo last spring. Kevin is Pastor at a local church. I spent an interesting afternoon on the golf course with him last summer comparing musical tastes and learning about something he has been doing in Haiti for a few years now. I had no idea at the time that his work would be so important now.
Kevin's church supports the Mission of Hope in Grande-Goave. The Mission of Hope compound is 40 miles outside of Port-au-Prince. Most of the aid we hear so much about is only making it as far as the capital, so Grande-Goave is an important outpost for help in a poorly served area.
This is Kevin with Lex Edme who runs the Mission orphanage. This picture was taken only a few months ago. These were much happier times.
Kevin is in Grande-Goave now, and through his wife Tammy, we hear from him almost everyday. Everyone at the dojo is on edge waiting for news of his work and his safe return. His days are filled with arranging transport for food and the comings and goings of doctors and supplies. Kevin says people are still streaming out of the hills with untreated injuries like broken bones and huge wounds. He is sleeping on a mattress on the ground guarded by two jittery dogs. Most nights he doesn't get much rest, but he is doing good work, and he sees the positive effects every minute of his days.
So what does this have to do with knitting?
In two weeks, February 12-14th, Kendall's dojo is hosting a Kick-a-thon in support of Kevin and Mission of Hope as a chance, not just for the kids, but for everyone to lend a hand foot. The Boston Globe even sent a photographer today for the story they are going to run about it next week. Crazy karate fool that I am, I am entering the Kick-a-Thon to raise a small part of the dojo's overall goal to send 10,000 dollars to Mission of Hope. I am hoping to get some knitters in on this.
I would love to hand Kendall and Kevin a check and be able to say, "This is from the knitters." If you would send me just $5 to help make that happen, I'll try and make it worth something for you.
After the Kick-a-thon, I'll draw prizes from my own stash to send to some random donors. I'll put books, sock yarn, and a few other goodies on the block as a way to thank you. Consider this a raffle. If you want to send me $10, I'll give you two chances at the stash, and so on. If you really want to get crazy, the biggest donation gets this:
My Fiddlesticks Peacock Shawl, knit by me four years ago in Cherry Tree Hill Possum Lace in the River's Edge colorway, and worn once. It's in pristine condition. Taking out to check that it's still perfect, I reconsidered. But no, I'm good. I'll hand it over if the knitters impress me even a little.
And I will also match whatever I raise, so you know I really believe in this. I'll post prize details in the next post, but if you want to donate on good faith that the prizes will be good in the meantime, here's the button:
Feel free to tell me anything you like in the note section of the payment form, like what your real name is, or maybe a note of encouragement to Kevin and his team.
Thanks so much.