Sunday, July 23, 2006

saving the world (a tiny little bit)

A couple of days ago I received an email from Bernat (a yarn company) that contained a very depressing stat and also news that people were doing something about it. First the stat:

"Four million newborns [in developing nations] die each year within the first month of life -- half within the first 24 hours of life."

The email went on to say that a Save the Children report released around Mother's Day of this year outlined practical ways to address the situation:

"Three out of four newborn deaths could be avoided with simple, low-cost tools that already exist, such as antibiotics for pneumonia, sterile blades to cut umbilical cords, and knit caps to keep babies warm." - State of the World's Mothers Report 2006

What people are doing about it is very simple. STC is asking people to knit or crochet a little hat and send it to Washington where it will be included in aid kits sent overseas. All they ask is that you use one of 4 patterns provided (in part so that the hats will fit) and that the hats arrive in Washington, DC by January 2007. You can download the action kit from the Warm Up America site (partners with STC in this project). The kit has the patterns (very easy), the tag you need to put on the hat and the address to send it to.

As I was reading about all this I couldn't help but think about my niece, Corrina. She's 6 months old, happy and healthy and a delight. Janie was able to get all the medical help she needed while pregnant and if anything were to happen to Corrina now there are whole teams of medical people who would rush to her aid. We are fortunate indeed. So I decided to make some hats.

I'm aiming for 6, one for each month that Corrina has been here so far. So far I've completed the 4 pictured above. Technically I've done 5, but the first one is gymped (read the pattern wrong.) I've got yarn left over from other projects so all it's going to cost me is a few stamps and some time. Years ago I remember someone talking about the idea of tithing our time, how in some seasons of life it becomes fairly easy to give money and tithing time instead is a more noticeable sacrifice. I'm not sure I'm in a place where I'd say giving money is easy, but I like the simplicity of giving time working such a simple pattern that could have such a profound impact.

I remember the first time I got to meet Corrina. She was 6 weeks old and I kept marveling that her head fit in the palm of my hand. Now looking at these little hats it's easy to be reminded how defenseless little heads can be. It's almost absurd to think a little hat can help save a life, but then it's equally absurd that it takes so little to end one.

It's a tiny thing to do, I know. But the smallest gesture is an infinitely larger contribution than doing nothing. I can't save the world, but I can save it a little tiny bit.


.A.wall. said...

very cool!

Very inspirational also..can you teach me???

I would love to help you!


justus said...

Wonderful job. Thanks for posting this information. I love to knit, and think this is a great way to help out.
Your right, we may not be able to save the world, but we can save someone's world. A new born child is someone's world, and that is so important.
God gave us the gift to knit, or crochette, we need to share our gift, and our love. We can all save the world, a bit at a time, like you said.
Thank you so much for sharing this information. I know I will be passing it along to others who knit, and sharing with them, how much we can all help.

JAnie & DAve said...

oh no, i posted something and it never showed up... let me remember what i said:

I am so glad that you can be inspired by Corrina. She is glad too. I will write this down in her baby book somewhere so she can know. You have lots to teach to her, and i am glad of that! I have changed alot of things in life since she came along; some big changes, some little, but still changes. Some mother, somewhere, will be very very thankful that you took the time to make little baby hats. That is splendid! Thanks,
Love Janie

Sue said...

This is a wonderful noble aim dear Claire. What glorious thoughts of inspiration come when we realize we are not completely helpless in such tragic things as this, eh? Sometimes trouble makes us feel helpless, thank you for giving us hope to help!! :)

from sue

westcoastloon said...

Hey Amanda,

I will *definitely* teach you! WE'll hook up when you're back in town.