[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] The Anglican mission agency Mission to Seafarers is once again running its innovative Woolly Hat Day fundraising campaign by urging people to wear a woolly hat on Friday 14 October. The Mission to Seafarers is the world’s largest maritime welfare charity and is held in high regard by the international shipping communities for the support it provides to seafarers across the world. They have raised thousands of pounds through previous Woolly Hat Days and hope to raise 15,000 through next month’s event.
Supporters are encouraged to hold Woolly Hat Day events and to promote the agency as a way of raising both funds and awareness.
“Giving hats to seafarers is a genuine act of kindness, appreciation and hospitality towards those who are away from home for many months and who often operate in harsh conditions,” the mission agency’s secretary general, Andrew Wright, said. “Given the speed at which they are taken, gifts of woolly hats continue to be very much appreciated by seafarers.”
And the mission’s director of development, Jos Standerwick, explained the thinking behind the campaign: “Woolly hats have become synonymous with seafarers, with people knitting hats for our men and women of the sea for hundreds of years. It seems only fitting that the Mission and The Campaign for Wool team up again to raise vital funds for the Mission’s work and to get the public knitting!
“Whether people tweet a fun photo of themselves in their woolly hats, or turn their hands to knitting, the Mission could not hold this day without the support from so many dedicated organisations and individuals, so thank you.”
The fundraising day receives widespread support from the shipping community who use it to organise their own fund-raising events for the charity.
“This year's Woolly Hat Day has already received great support from companies whose business relies on seafarers,” the agency’s corporate development manager Laura Brown said. “Offices, ports and shipping companies have already signed up to stage a fun event around the theme of Woolly Hats. Some are holding sweepstakes, others bake sales and we even have the support of the retailers who are decorating their shop fronts in a maritime theme! We are asking people to let their imagination go overboard to raise funds for seafarers and their families in a time of need.”