KidKnits is about people, not statistics. Our founder, my daughter, started KidKnits because she wanted to “change a life on the other side of the world”, not solve world poverty. And yet, as we go into classrooms and talk about extreme poverty in the world, we believe it is important for students to understand the unbelievable scale of the problem of world poverty without feeling overwhelmed. We recently read Richard Stearn’s excellent book, The Hole in Our Gospel. We were struck by Richard’s analogy for understanding the scale of poverty in Africa, and thought that students in our classes would be as well. Richard asks us to imagine that tomorrow morning the newspaper headline reads, “100 Airliners Crash, 26,500 killed”. Certainly this headline would be the top story, certainly it would impact us all day as we struggled to imagine the magnitude of the tragedy – 100 plane crashes on the same day! However, what if we awoke the following day only to find that it had happened again, and the next day, again, and on and on. This tragic loss of innocent life mirrors the daily situation in Africa, where 26,500 children die each day of preventable disease! As we discussed this analogy this week with a group of 5th and 6th graders, we realized that we all would have an immediate reaction of shock at the tragedy. And yet, some of the students agreed that if this truly were to go on for weeks and months, we may eventually become numb to the situation. Is that what has happened with respect to extreme poverty in Africa? If 100 airplanes were crashing daily, would not every resource possible be focused on solving this problem? Why do we not do more to address this tragedy?
As I wrote at the beginning of this post, KidKnits is not about statistics, but about people. KidKnits is a family project, – my wife, my dad, my mom, my kids, and me. How can my small family change the 26,500 number? The number is so large and so far away. The number that inspired my family and me to focus our time and efforts on KidKnits was 10. Using KidKnits to give an opportunity for 10 women to have work through our partner, True Vineyard Ministries. Ten women. Now, thanks to you, our customers, the original 10 is now 28. 28 women. 28 families. 175 family members. A plane crash? Perhaps, a plane crash averted. Lives on the other side of the world changed – by a simple, fun and meaningful craft. Thank you for being a part of this change.