I was contacted recently by Willow Million of "String of Gems" in California, thanking me for my Monk Hat Pattern which she informed me they were using to knit hats to take with them to Tibet to give to 250 Buddhist Nuns whose livlihood they help support! I love the idea of contributing to something that will help people so directly. And they do need our help! They are trying to get 250 hats BY March 3rd. So if you have some extra wool yarn, and an extra hour or two, please knit a hat for them!
Excerped from the message I received from Willow:
You may know that Cathy (owner of Inner Journey in Los Gatos, CA andmember of Gyalwa Gyatso Buddhist Center in Campbell, CA) is a tirelesssupporter 250 nuns near Lhasa, Tibet.
I am knitting some wool hats forthe nuns and looking for other knitters who would like to participate. Cathy would personally deliver any hats we can complete when shevisits them in March. She is leaving on March 12, so I am setting mypersonal deadline for March 3. I have already researched the yarn,which is very reasonably-priced and the pattern, which knits upquickly with size 11 needles.
Here is some background information about the nuns and their needs:
IntroducingString of Gems A foundation dedicated to the financial welfare of Buddhist Nunsin and around Lhasa, Tibet. String of Gems was founded in 2001 around a dinner table at theShambala Hotel in Lhasa, Tibet. After 2 previous trips to Tibet, wewanted to give something back to the people and country we were forming a definite attachment to. The more time we spent with theTibetan people, the more we saw how important their religious identityand culture was to them. These are a kind and gentle people who walk their Buddhist beliefs everyday. Of all the things we could do to help the people of Tibet., one need above all became very apparent once we were introduced to a group of Buddhist Nuns. They needed help gettingtheir day to day needs met. They seemed to have been abandoned byeveryone! Since 1949, more than 6,000 monasteries and nunneries have been destroyed. Thousands of Tibetans have fled into exile, followingtheir spiritual leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama. What may be lesswell known is that, currently, Tibetans are still subjected to gross human rights violations everyday. The exile of thousands of Tibetan and Chinese monks and nuns continues today as China's genocidal politics persist. There are numerous nunneries and thousands of nunsin residence who are barely surviving. These humble nuns have next tonothing except their belief's and are in need of so many things frombasics like shoes, blankets, food, and tools to overwhelming itemssuch as roads to their nunneries, yaks to haul firewood and supplies,and repairs for the nunnery buildings themselves. In Tibet women are still second class citizens and nuns in particular are under aconstant threat of personal and religious prosecution.We are currently financially helping 4 Nunneries in the Lhasa area:Garu, Mechong Ri , Chupsong, and Nemo. There are approximately 250nuns currently occupying these nunneries. About every six months wewire money to a much-trusted Tibetan friend who takes these funds outto each nunnery where it is used to buy everything from rice and gheeto sutra books and Stupas. It is impossible to wire large amounts ofmoney into the personal account of a Tibetan citizen as it acts as ared flag for the Chinese government.
String of Gems is a grass roots group of individuals dedicated to the ongoing financial needs of these extraordinary women.
Bless you for helping us get in touch with knitters who would bewilling to make some Hats for Nuns.Yours in the Dharma, Willow
Here's the page she made with the address to send the hats to, desired yarn to use, and you can learn a little more about their organization:
Thanks for your help and your interest in their cause!