Quilts bring comfort to disaster-struck Vanuatu
Quilts for Vanuatu is an initiative calling for New Zealanders to drop- off their spare hand-crafted quilts.
The initiative is the brainchild of Matamata local Caroline Mason, who recognises the value and comfort a simple quilt could provide those who have been affected by Cyclone Pam.
‘‘Our quilts will go some way to offer comfort and protect those who have had their lives turned upside down. Winter is coming and people may now find themselves on the ground with maybe only a tarpaulin for shelter.
‘‘There is a shortage of traditional Pandanus mats used for sleeping, therefore our quilts can be used as temporary relief to sleep on or even hung to use as a divider to provide some privacy for people sharing small spaces,’’ Mason said.
Fastway Couriers has been collecting the quilts from all over the country and transporting them, free of charge, to Matamata’s Caltex, ready for packaging and shipping.
Mason said what was interesting was the way in which the quilts will get to Vanuatu.
‘‘The P&O Pacific Pearl cruise ship is departing Auckland on April 19 and will deliver our quilts into Vila on April 25, just 10 days from when they first arrived in Matamata,’’ she said.
Mason said thanks to the generosity of the New Zealand Quilters, Bernina Centres and Fastway Couriers, quilts have already begun to arrive, ready for the attachment of a small card written in Bislama language.
She said to date there had been more than 170 quilts donated and 157 dresses had also arrived as part of the Dress a Girl Around the World charity.
The Matamata quilt group have scheduled a working bee for tomorrow, April 16, to sew on the greeting labels to the hundreds of quilts Mason is sure will come.
The group are meeting at the Union Church Hall from 10am. Anyone who wants to lend a hand or drop of thin, lightweight quilts, is more than welcome.
Fastway Couriers Waikato is also calling for clothing items to be dropped off at their Hamilton depot.
John Tatterson, franchise support manager at Fastway Couriers, says his company is encouraging anyone in the local area who would like to offer clothing, to drop off their donation, marked for Vanuatu, at their depot by the end of the week.
The Fastway Couriers depot will then transport the clothing to Auckland, for shipping by the Red Cross to Vanuatu. Drop off at Fastway Couriers Waikato, Unit 4/156 Ellis St, Hamilton.
If there are any other local initiatives being held to support Vanuatu, let the Matamata Chronicle know.
Matamata Patchworkers and Quilters gathered last week to attach cards to donated quilts bound for cyclone-ravished Vanuatu in time for winter. From left, Winn Bethune, Janet Madill, Dorothy Grubb, Bridget Gill, Mary Smart, Elaine Reeve, Cindy Dawson and Caroline Mason.