This year marks 20 years of the Guardian Angels knitting program, an initiative of Guardian Pharmacy that has provided more than two million knitted garments for those facing hardship each winter.
Guardian Pharmacy has again teamed up with the St Vincent de Paul Society (Vinnies), and is calling on “crafty people of all ages” to put their knitting skills to good use in helping homeless people to keep warm in winter.
Until July 31, knitted garments including beanies, scarves, jumpers and gloves will be distributed through Vinnies shops and services in an effort to provide each of the 116,000 experiencing homelessness and the three million in poverty with warm winter wear.
Pharmacist Chris Warne of Beaconsfield Guardian Pharmacy in outer Melbourne has been leading his team of Guardian Angels since the program began 20 years ago and has watched the campaign evolve into what it is today.
“At the end of the day the Guardian Angels program brings our community closer together, and we see the proud smiles of our knitters as they donate garment after garment, knowing that this small act will hopefully bring another smile down the line,” he said.
St Vincent de Paul Society WA CEO Susan Rooney says the state organisation is grateful to continue the partnership with Guardian Pharmacy and proud to be part of an initiative that has helped Australians in need.
“Homelessness has risen by almost 14 per cent in the last five years and it doesn’t discriminate – it affects people of all ages and backgrounds,” she said.
“While homelessness can look different for many Australians, winter can be a tough time no matter the circumstance, and the Guardian Angels program helps us support those who need it most.”