Local seniors’ knitting groups send supplies to help families in Mongolia

Bethanie, one of Western Australia’s most recognised not-for-profit aged care and retirement living providers works hard to ensure both staff and customers value the importance of social contributions, driving activities which contribute to the wellbeing of the community.

Knitting groups across Bethanie sites from Bunbury to Geraldton are always working to supply handmade items to those less fortunate. They make small toys for children in hospital, baby blankets for new mothers and scarves for the homeless. One special group of talented Bethanie residents has recently supplied two large bags of knitted jumpers, scarves and beanies to needy children and families in Mongolia.

The majority of the contributions came from residents at Bethanie Gwelup Aged Care Home and Bethanie Geneff Aged Care Home, where knitting groups have gathered for more than 20 years. The ladies know that their knitting will be sent to needy children both locally and overseas, with some purchasing their own wool and others relying upon the generous donations of other knitting group members. 

Bethanie Geneff resident Peg Eaton, now in her 90s, has been rallying those around to her to help with volunteer projects like this for more than 50 years. Peg says, “I am only too happy to assist others in need and seeing the pictures of the children wearing the knitting brings me and the ladies such delight.”

The connection to Mongolia comes from Bethanie Gwelup Aged Care Home Chaplain, James Goss, who has been travelling to the country for the last 19 years where he established MongoliaCare – a not for profit, humanitarian organisation which provides help and hope to the needy, impoverished and ex-prisoners across Mongolia.

James says, “Over the years I have taken many bags of knitting to Mongolia, and it is always such a joy to see the children’s faces light up as we hand them a colourful beanie, scarf or jumper. When I share with them that these were not massed produced in a factory, but rather were made with love by seniors in Australia, it adds a personal touch and they feel the love from those who made them.”