Knitting jerseys for needy children is a Johnson Family Affair

Gwynn and her sister with a display of the hand knitted jerseys


I spoke to Gwynn Valentine, a retired teacher, about her family's knitting project. Gwynn, her daughter and her sisters have started knitting jerseys for children last year. Let's hear what the chief knitter had to say about their voluntary community project.


How did your family's knitting project start?

We started last year. It was the idea of my niece, the daughter of my eldest sister. She is a doctor (nutrition) at Potch University. She told us our mother (her grandmother ) was a very crafty person and she taught us to knit, crochet, sew and darn.

Her words were : " Ouma draai in haar graf om as sy sien haar dogters sit en doen niks vir die gemeenskap nie"... This reminder of helping the community gave birth to our Jerseys For the Children project.

Who pays for the wool and otter materials you need for the knitting? Tell us also how you select the organisation that will be given the sets of jerseys.

.We buy our own materials. Each one of us gets to choose a beneficiary. Since I knit the most (every time) I could choose first. So I chose BADISA , our church organisation, and they gave it to Klapmuts pre-school. My two sisters, my daughter and I donated 22 jerseys to this preschool. This year it was my eldest sister, Erina's turn to choose an organisation and she chose Helderberg Children's Home in Robertson. We handed over 33 jerseys to this Children's Home.

Then, my brother in Worcester told me about this lady at House of Moria, an Orphanage Home, who opened her house to abandoned children. She takes very good care of them so I decided to knit for them. Their ages differ from 3months to 23 years.

Our last beneficiary for this year is the Christine Revell Children's Home in Athlone, here in Cape Town. We have almost completed the 34 jerseys, our target for this organisation.

Once the organisation has been identified, we contact them and then get all the details we need.

Do you see your knitting project as a long term one?

My sister's daughter again told us to think about our roots. We had so much fun growing up on a farm and still have good laughs about the things we did. So I will phone the principal in next term to get the numbers and then start knitting for them for next year. and then, God willing , we want to knit for the farm school, Baden, where we grew up. Our father was the principal and our mother taught at the same school.

I am so thankful to God that I can do this. It's my passion. Even the arthritis left me. ."

Gwynn and her daughter knitting a jersey for some blessed child
The intricate detail is a marvel

What an amazing act of love by the Johnson sisters. Each jersey is a beautiful handcrafted work of art. Each jersey is a wonderful message of hope, of care, to those who need it most.



  1. An excellent and admirable project! Makes me feel so good about the efforts made by ordinary people...

    1. Thanks for popping in. I see my reply to you has gone missing in cyber space. Yes, when ordinary folk reach out to others, I too am humbled.


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