The Inspiration For kogo (knit one give one)
The seeds for kogo were planted in July 2004. It was a particularly cold winter in Melbourne and there was a sudden resurgence in the popularity of knitting scarves. These two factors combined to motivate Ros Rogers to get friends and family to direct their knitting energy towards knitting for charity (after all how many scarves can one person wear!). This resulted in 180 scarves being knitted and these were distributed by the Emerald Hill Mission to those experiencing homelessness.
The following year Ros officially launched kogo as a not-for-profit organisation. It was decided to knit scarves and beanies for disadvantaged children and these items were distributed to schools that were supported by the Ardoch Youth Foundation. Publicity in the local press led to an overwhelming response and before we knew it, kogo had grown to over 200 volunteer knitters and we had over 2,000 finished items!
Recognising a widespread need for winter woollies for a myriad of people undergoing hardship we decided to team up with a number of community partner organisations. We knit or crochet the woollies and then they distribute them directly to people in need.
In 2016 kogo distributed 70,000 hand knitted winter woollies to the most vulnerable in our community through 250 community partner organisations.
All the kogo team are volunteers.
We now have over 5,000 knitters/crocheters across Australia. Our volunteers are everyday Australians who donate their time and wool in order to create for those in need. They come from all walks of life and they vary in age - the youngest being an 11 year old girl and our oldest being over 100! Our volunteer knitters/crocheters make a whole range of items – including scarves, beanies, blankets, toys, children’s and babies’ clothing.
We also have a dedicated team of volunteers who meet every Tuesday morning to sort, label and pack the finished items to be delivered to our community partner organisations. When the garments come in, they are all sorted and labelled with a swingtag saying “hand knitted with love by kogo”. This is very time consuming but we feel it is important for the recipients to know that the garments are new and that they are made by a community that cares about them and their situation.