One Square at a Time: The Wrap with Love Story
In late 1992 Sonia Gidley-King was recovering from breast cancer when she saw a documentary about the civil war in Mozambique which showed malnourished people who had to contend with extreme cold. Sonia’s response was immediate and practical. She had left-over wool in her cupboard and she knew that many other people must also have saved scraps of wool. She knitted her first 10” square, inspired friends to join her and soon their first wrap was created from 28 squares of colourful leftover wool. Twenty-eight years later the design is still the same, a wrap or blanket which is large enough to cover a single bed or to wrap around a cold person.
Sonia’s enthusiasm caught the imagination of many people who wanted to help those less fortunate and in a month Sonia had 38 wraps to ship to Mozambique. Four months later the second shipment was 228 wraps. From such small beginnings Wrap With Love has grown into the organization it is today. Every Wednesday and Friday enthusiastic volunteers come to the WWL warehouse in Alexandria to receive wraps and squares knitted and crocheted by thousands of volunteers around Australia. At the warehouse each wrap is inspected for quality control then repacked to be sent around Australia and around the world. Every wrap has a distinctive kangaroo label sewn into one corner, indicating that it is a gift from Australia.
Transport is provided by generous aid agencies and trucking companies. Our warehouse premises are provided by the City of Sydney Council.
Wraps are distributed by aid agencies on condition they are not sold, raffled or traded. WWL is run entirely by volunteers and is non-racial, non-denominational and non-political. We are all about warming cold people.
Each wrap takes about 150 hours to create. Our volunteers knit, crochet, sew squares together, pick up and deliver wraps, maintain our office, our website and our Facebook page. There are knitting groups held in libraries, public halls and private homes by enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers. Without our wonderful volunteers Wrap With Love would not exist.
Last year we despatched over 27,000 wraps to countries including Africa, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, Syria, Tanzania, and Ukraine, and within Australia to APY Lands in South Australia, Hammond Care, Providential Homes, Sister to Sister, and for bushfire relief in Bateman’s Bay and Nowra (700).
Please join us in spreading the love even further, one square at a time.