There may be a pandemic raging, but that hasn’t stopped members of the Stitch community from banding together to lend a hand or to contributing positively to the lives of others in the community.
Meet some of our inspiring Stitch members below.
Supporting widows and widowers
We recently wrote an article about the inspiring Stitch members — including Maree, Kim and Davina — who are currently volunteering their time to host events for the Stitch Widows & Widowers group, to support members who are dealing with the loss of a loved one.
Soon after the article was published, the women’s news & entertainment site 9Honey reached out to us to find out if we had any members based in Melbourne who were doing anything noteworthy to help others cope during the pandemic. Melbourne had been in stage 4 lockdown for weeks, after experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases, and 9Honey were keen to share some positive stories.
The Stitch members who organize the Stitch Widows & Widowers group come from places all over the world, including California, Pennsylvania, Singapore, Queensland and Tasmania, but one of them — Davina — is based in Melbourne, so we naturally thought of her.
Davina was initially reluctant to speak with the media, as she felt the Widows & Widowers group was a team effort (like most things on Stitch!) and she didn’t want the story to be just about her.
Once we explained that 9Honey was only interested in interviewing someone from Melbourne, however, and that their story could help raise awareness of Stitch and reach more people who could benefit from the support of the community, Davina agreed to be interviewed.
The journalist later told us that she loved interviewing Davina, and said it was her favourite interview all year. She was so inspired that she made Davina the main focus of the article — which of course embarrassed Davina no end! But Davina didn’t need to worry at all. We all know that she only did the interview because we asked her, and because she wanted to help people.
And it’s certainly done that. We had a bunch of new members join Stitch after reading the article, many of whom are grieving the loss of a loved one themselves. If just one person can be helped as a result of reading Davina’s story, it would be worthwhile.
We are completely thrilled that Davina was willing to overcome her reservations and allow herself to be interviewed. Thank you Davina!
You can read the 9Honey article here.
Stitch a saviour during the pandemic
Kimberly from San Diego is another member who put reservations about being interviewed aside in order to help raise awareness of the community and to reach out and help others.
As Kimberly told local San Diego TV station KPBS, she had big plans before the pandemic, and intended to make the most of turning 60 by going globetrotting.
When the pandemic hit and she found herself stuck at home just like everybody else, Kimberly realized how helpful being part of the Stitch community could be.
Having the ability to connect with Stitch members from all around the world and attend activities at all hours of the day has helped Kim navigate the challenges of being confined at home.
From coffee catch-up at 6:30am to participating in yoga classes held by other Stitch members, Kimberly says “It’s kind of ironic because I’m participating in more events during the isolation period than I ever did before.”
Kimberly’s involvement in spreading the word about the community in San Diego, as well as connecting to other members in her area, has been instrumental in getting the Stitch Community off the ground and helping so many of our members in southern California. Thank you Kimberly!
You can read Kimberly’s article and watch her interview here.
On August 4th this year, an explosion devastated the port of Beirut, wiping out buildings, leaving many without their homes and family members, and left thousands injured.
Sydney Community Champion Violet decided to help.
She created an event on Stitch, Lebanon Needs Essentials, where she asked members to donate any goods that could be sent to Lebanon to help those in need.
The outpouring of support and encouragement from the Stitch community was incredible. Generous volunteers not only donated goods but drove all across Sydney picking up donated products from other Stitch members, and offering their homes as ‘drop off’ locations for members to donate their items.
“If it wasn’t for the support and generosity I received, it wouldn’t have happened … Please acknowledge the Stitch members for their support and generosity …”Stitch Community Champion Violet
Bags and boxes of goods were collected and donated, everything from clothing, blankets, canned and non-perishable foods, nappies, and baby formula.
By August 21st, two containers of donated goods were sent to Lebanon.
Thank you to Violet for her mighty efforts in initiating and coordinating such an extremely successful appeal to help the survivors of the recent explosion in Beirut.
As Violet says, “If it wasn’t for the support and generosity I received, it wouldn’t have happened … Please acknowledge the Stitch members for their support and generosity … I am in awe of the compassion I experienced from people I have never met.”
Helping the homeless
If you’re reading this blog article you’re one of the lucky ones. You most likely have a roof over your head and access to a regular meal. Not everyone is so lucky.
Sydney Community Champion Debbie wanted to help those experiencing homelessness by hosting Walk for Want, an event for Stitch members to contribute a few hours of their day handing out much appreciated items to the less fortunate.
“Four Stitchers (and three helpers) walked from Circular Quay to Central giving out items to the homeless, talking to them and listening to their stories … We had a wonderful day, walking, talking and helping people”Sydney Community Champion Debbie
On August 23rd Debbie and three other Stitch members took to the streets of Sydney, handing out backpacks full of supplies, warm clothes, and even cash to the homeless.
As Debbie says, “Four Stitchers (and three helpers) walked from Circular Quay to Central giving out items to the homeless, talking to them and listening to their stories … We had a wonderful day, walking, talking and helping people”.
Thank you to Debbie for suggesting this event and to Carole, Gabrielle and Michelle for attending and dedicating their Sunday to contributing to this great cause.
(And thank you to Michelle’s two daughters who also attended and helped to carry the backpacks brimming with food and warm clothing!)
Raising awareness of Stitch
Sydney member Dino recently reached out to community radio station 2RRR to tell them about the Stitch community and to see if they’d be interested in telling our story, with a particular focus on growing the community in the Western Suburbs of Sydney.
He was successful!
On August 20th 2RRR featured Stitch founder Andrew Dowling along with Community Champion Richard, who is based in Western Sydney, on the station’s 8am radio segment.
This is a great example of how community activism can help grow the community and make things better for everyone … great job Dino and Richard!
You can listen to the radio segment here.
(From left to right: Dino and Richard)
If you know other members who are helping raise awareness about Stitch or doing positive things for others in the community, please let us know so we can tell their stories in future articles.
And if you’re not a member of Stitch yet, why not sign up to Stitch today to join a supportive and inclusive community powered by the positive contributions of its members!