Saturday is World Knit in Public Day and you are invited to pick up your needles and help keep babies warm this winter.
Warming Hearts Trust, a New Zealand charity with a vision of ensuring every new baby goes home warm, and stays warm, has teamed with Spotlight stores to create and gather hundreds of knitted blankets and essential items of clothing.
In Hamilton it will all be happening at the Spotlight store on the corner of Te Rapa Road and Garnett Ave on Saturday with donated items also accepted for the rest of the month.
The clothes and blankets will be made into bundles and gifted to parents in need.
Spotlight will provide patterns and project sheets for the specific high-need garments that will help keep babies warm.
While Warming Hearts will gladly accept all clothing and bedding for babies, they focus on items made from Merino, wool and cotton; fabrics that allow babies to regulate their body temperatures
Sizes from premature to six months are needed.
The charity was was founded by three women — mothers and midwives — all with second jobs, who have witnessed firsthand the struggles that many New Zealand families experience every day.
"It's a hard reality to face, but babies in New Zealand are leaving the hospital unclothed and cold, with no safe bed to sleep in, often living in damp and cold homes," Warming Hearts co-founder Victoria Dickinson said.
"Having Spotlight come on board to support our vision is a dream come true. We don't want to see any babies go home cold," she said
The bundles are distributed by a special midwife network to families in a safe, private and empathetic way.
Warming Hearts is currently only distributing bundles to Auckland babies, who Victoria says are the most in need.
However, the partnership with Spotlight across all 18 stores will help extend the reach of bundles, as requests grow across New Zealand.
"While we wish this situation didn't exist, and it's a difficult topic to talk about, we feel privileged to be able to work alongside Warming Hearts, helping them with distribution and easy drop off zones , so that more babies are can enjoy the simple right of being warm when they go home," Spotlight Communications Manager, Nick Casey said.
You can also download a free, simple pattern from Spotonline and when finished take your item to your local Spotlight store. See: www.spotlightstores.com/projects/warming-hearts-projects