Children donate blanket to help homeless

By James Bennett

It might be a blanket but there is a deep and important message behind it.

Youngsters from Arthur Dickmann Children's Centre donated the handcrafted blanket to homelessness support service BeyondHousing earlier this week.

Although BeyondHousing chief executive Celia Adams knows a blanket does not solve homelessness, she said the lesson behind it is stronger.

“We were thrilled they wanted to do this and we're humble and grateful for the donation,” Ms Adams said.

“This blanket is not intended to solve homelessness but it has started a conversation in an age-appropriate way.

“Also for families to start a conversation with their children that not everybody has somewhere to stay.

“Children at four or five might not completely understand the concept of being homeless.

“They do understand the idea of not having somewhere warm to be or not having a blanket or not having a family who loves them.

“This is definitely early intervention for the children and families.”

Centre teacher Jeanette Doyle said creating the blanket had been a community effort.

“It all started in winter when we wanted to explore emotions and we thought we'd go with the emotion of empathy towards a community,” she said.

“One of our mums (Ms Adams) and children has a connection to BeyondHousing, so we started the blanket and it opened up the conversation about homelessness.

“Everyone has been on board with making squares on the blanket with parents, staff, children and extended families.

“Obviously the kids are too young to be knitting, so their part was the conversation. The kids saw us put the blanket together and were proud their families were bringing in a square.

“The families could choose whatever pattern they preferred. The blanket is a tapestry of love.”

The centre said knitting a blanket and the associated conversation is going to be introduced into its education.

The blanket will be donated to a family with children experiencing homelessness.

“Some of the people we see would never have been given something homemade,” Ms Adams said.

“We will make sure it goes to a family in the Goulburn Valley and they'll know the story about where it came from."

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