The kindness of knitting

The ATKV Sasolburg branch donated drain bags, beanies and blankets to the Breast Health Foundation. Charmaine Hattingh, an ATKV Sasolburg volunteer, tells us more.

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The Afrikaans Language and Culture Association (ATKV) is a non-profit organisation that aims to promote the Afrikaans language and culture as well as having various projects that support education, community and nation building.

The ATKV Sasolburg branch is a group of voluntary members of the main ATKV organisation. Since the Sasolburg branch is a small branch, they mostly focus on charity for the underprivileged. 

When asked how the donation to Breast Health Foundation came about, Charmaine responds, “We knitted a few drain bags and when we started looking for a place to donate, I came across a project at Helen Joseph Hospital Breast Care Clinic. Once I met Jenna, who handles marketing and communication, we were bowled over with everything that we could do for them.” 

Drain bags, beanies and blankets

“We started off with a few knitted drain bags, but Christien Massyn and I (volunteers who have full-time jobs) decided it’s much quicker to make them from material. We are fortunate to have two pensioners, Elsie Oliver (my mother) and Loretta Sprong, who contributed immensely with knitting the drain bags and beanies, as well as Louise Koekemoer knitting beanies.

In total, we donated 55 beanies, 32 knitted drain bags, 71 material drain bags and one pair of Knitted Knockers. Then we had 10 knee blankets that we also thought they could use. It was a team effort; those that don’t knit donated the wool.”

Charmaine drove all the way from Sasolburg to deliver the donation last year November. “We just want to make a difference in someone’s life. We think that the emotional process of going through a mastectomy is traumatic, and we want to show that we care.”

New purpose in life

Charmaine explains that her mother, Elsie Oliver, has since knitted 40 more Knitted Knockers, and baby bears for another charity organisation. “I do believe one must rotate what you’re knitting or else you’ll get bored. But my mom is going full steam. I love her to bits for doing her part for the ATKV Sasolburg branch as charity for the less fortunate. She says that all this wonderful knitting has given her a new purpose to life.

Jenna Skews and Charmaine Hattingh
Jenna Skews and Elsie Oliver
Images supplied