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By Loving Hands, Jul 5 2016 08:41PM

Julia Odie is a long standing Loving Hands member and very proactive too! Last Autumn she travelled to Moldova with one of the charities that we give a lot of support to - Operation Orphan, helping with their Keep a Child Warm Campaign. Seeing at first hand how little people have, and how much donations of warm clothing and blankets can help spurred Julia on to see what more she could do. A few months ago she put the call out around the islands for good quality nearly new children's coats to add to the stash of blankets that had been made from knitted squares.

I don't think even she realised just how wonderfully generous the Islanders could be! Box after box was filled, and a very kind local van hire company supplied the necessary van free of charge. Much fund raising was done and this covered the ferry fare for the 12 hour crossing from Shetland to Aberdeen and some over to help towards the fuel costs for the 850 mile round trip down to Notthingam and Operation Orphan's HQ.

The photos show the family loading the van up, and Julia and her lovely hubby John unloading and helping to sort in the Operation Orphan warehouse.

Not only this but they also called in to Rosetta (with Julia in the final photo) who provides clothing, shoes, school supplies etc to her husband's village in Gambia.

I'm sure that there will be hundreds of children that will be kept warn this year thanks to the generosity and hard work of the 'Shetland team'

By Loving Hands, Jul 2 2016 08:55PM

Loving Hands member Rosetta is married to a Gambian man, Omar and they send out aid to his home village and some others. She recently posted this on our forum

"Cherryl, with the help of her parents' church and our friend Jennifer proprietor of Parlour Yarns Carrickfergus who is a long time supporter of what Cherryl and I do, ran a Shoes For Gambia Appeal in June. This was a resounding success. Although I no longer live in Carickfergus I still feel very much a part of Loving Hands Carrickfergus so I am very proud of all that the Group have achieved in the month of June, while still knitting away there. Cherryl puts it better when she wrote on Facebook:

"It is my pleasure to announce we have gathered 297 pairs of shoes to send to our families in Gambia. Firstly, I thank God for blessing our appeal and allowing it to grow from hopes of 100 pairs to almost 3 times that amount. I sincerely thank each and everyone who bought and donated shoes. I know I can safely say that Rosetta and I are completely blown away by the support this appeal has received. It has been a totally overwhelming experience. I will be starting to pack the shoes later today. I have to thank my long-suffering husband, Gary, for putting up with the pile of boxes and bags of shoes, he does know it is all done with the best if intentions and with the needs of others before our needs of half a kitchen lol!!

I'm so thankful for everyone's support. I pray that each pair of shoes is a blessing to the person who wears them.

297 pairs!!! Thankyou so much xo"

Now the task of using my usual pick up in Carrickfergus and deliver to Manchester Light Haulage company Adam Williams Haulage based in Wrexham to get them to me at the Studio. What Adam has always done for me is pick up when doing a run to N.Ireland which he does frequently. He will store them FREE in Wrexham and get them to me when he has a van in my area. This keeps the costs as low as possible. It is good of him to work this way with me. I've used him for years now and he is very reliable."

This is above and beyond the usual work of Loving Hands but it was such a wonderful story we thought it was good to share it!

These photos show just a few of the shoes that are on their way to Rosetta.

By Loving Hands, Feb 28 2016 04:58PM

The Thames Valley group attended the Farnborough Show over the weekend 26/27 Februrary. They were great ambassadors for Loving Hands. Lynda writes "Some photos of the stand at Farnborough, we had a brilliant few days. Spoke to loads of people about Loving Hands so hopefully a few more members. Really enjoyed it this year, but really exhausted now!!"

By Loving Hands, Nov 4 2015 08:50PM

The Moldovan people are not sitting waiting for handouts, they do not expect any. They are hard working and many survive on what they can grow and raise – for their own use and for sale: pears, apples, grapes, corn, peppers, tomatoes, eggs, chickens, geese, turkeys etc on their back yard land. We shared a meal cooked with vegetables grown in the garden at the home of one of the team’s parents – it was fantastic, stuffed peppers and vine leaves, a slow cooked stew of lamb and potatoes washed down with a cherry drink made from their own cherries. It’s a simpler life than we have, and perhaps the richer for it. Temperatures vary wildly over the year, with up to 40C in the summer and down past -25C in the winter. Village roads are earthen tracks and they become quagmires when it rains.

Read Julia's complete adventure on her blog by copying and pasting this link into your browser -


By Loving Hands, Oct 16 2015 11:03AM

That's a wrap! Thousands of children about to be given the gift of warmth in time for winter -for the keep a child warm campaign

Operation Orphan said "Thanks for all your support and the many contributions from Loving Hands that are inside these boxes! Pass on my thanks when your forum is working again. Cyrilyn"