A generous gift of blankets and beanies has been delivered all the way from Dandenong, via our Bairnsdale parish, to East Gippsland communities impacted by the summer bushfires.

Barbara Tifere from St Elizabeth’s, Noble Park North Parish in North Dandenong used the recent Covid-19 isolation as an opportunity to share her charisms with others by drawing on the talents of 20 people in her community, asking them to knit up a storm while they were “staying safe at home”.

The results were a total of 15 knitted single bed size blankets and over 30 beanies!

Barbara made contact with St Mary’s Parish in Bairnsdale, then with her friend Barbara Christopher made the more than six-hour round trip last week to deliver the winter warmers.

The Noble Park North based knitters had previously created 17 blankets for the Marysville community after the 2009 bushfires and with many “staying safe at home” with time on their hands during the COVID-19 lockdown Barbara thought it was time to get everyone knitting again.

Bairnsdale Parish Sacramental Coordinator, Michelle Grimsted said she knew straight after the unexpected phone call from Barbara of the best way to get the winter warmers where they were most needed.


Photo caption: Michelle Grimsted from St Mary's parish with Barbara Tifere and Barbara Christopher with one of the donated blankets.

“Bush Chaplain Reverend Rowena Harris from Frontier Services, manages the Mountains Project which is designed to support, empower and encourage those who live in East Gippsland’s bushfire and drought areas and so I rang her,” Michelle said.

The warmers have now made their way into the most impacted areas of East Gippsland.

The Mountain Project’s Facebook page sharing news of their distribution on Thursday.

The Facebook post said with the news ‘the blankets knitted by some loving Catholic folk’ were on their way, Uniting Church Reverend Harris made contact with an elderly couple whom were among the first to say they were in need.

A neighbour popped in to collect them. This lady joined us as we stood around, admiring them (the blankets).
In an awed voice, she said they were lovely, and she thought her neighbours would be thrilled. "I think they will cry" she said.
Well, if tears came, we are sure they would be happy ones. The team love being part of a joyful giving!

Somewhere tonight, in our mountains, an elderly couple are snuggled up together, warm and cosy, under blankets.... We wonder what movie they will be watching on the telly?”, said the Facebook post.

“This story is such a beautiful example of Christian love, it’s a real example of what St Mary MacKillop said, ‘Never see a need without doing something about it,” Michelle concluded while telling the story to Catholic Diocese of Sale Media. 


Photo Caption: Barbara Tirfere from St Elizabeth's, Noble Park North Parish, with one of the blankets donated for Bushfire survivors in East Gippsland.