The DOVE Fund and their Bandage Brigade
On January 12, 2000 a group of Vietnam Veterans started The Dove Fund . In its short history it has built 44 schools, 11 daycare centers, 3 medical clinics, and 5 mayor water projects among many other ongoing projects.
I have been moved by one particular service that is provided by these dear folks and their volunteers. They provide bandages to the lepers of Vietnam. Since 2008 their Bandage Brigade has delivered over 12,000 bandages. These are handmade by volunteers from around the globe.
I was amazed that in this century there were still people suffering from this horrific disease. I wanted to help and ask others to do the same.
All Images Credit: [ The Dove Fund ]
Why Handmade Leprosy Bandages
According to the folks on the ground in the colony for The Dove Fund, the handmade bandages breath better, can be washed, sterilized and reused. The bandages are not only used for sores but also for stumps. Gauze would wear out to quickly.
One more very important factor about making these bandages, the recipients know that it takes a lot of time to make one and so they feel that someone cares. A message rarely given to them.
How to Make the Leprosy Bandages
Currently there are patterns online for knitting and crocheting the bandages.
I have spent several days now trying to figure out a why to loom knit them to no avail. I have bought different looms and even contacted a loom maker to see he they could help. Some suggestions have been made. I will update this post once I get the information necessary to generate a pattern and/or a video. God willing this will be shortly.
In the mean time I wanted to share this need with everyone willing to listen because some of us know how to knit or crochet and the need is here and now.
They do have some specific requirements for the bandages. I have listed these below.
There are specifications for the materials used to make the bandages to avoid irritation. Remember that open wounds are being covered. They ask that the thread be No. 10 knit Cro-sheen, 100% mercerized cotton or polyester in white, cream or ecru. No dyes please.
Suggested Brands are: South Maid D54, DMC Traditions, Aunt Lydia’s Classic Crochet Thread, Cro Sheen and JP Coats
This yarn is sometimes called the “bedspread cotton”
The Needles: For Now- Crochet and Knitting
Use size D (3.00 mm = UK 11)
Use size E (3.50 mm = UK 9) crochet hook (loose tension desirable)
Cast on 24 to 28 stitches so the bandage measures about 4″ across.
Knit every row until bandage is desired length of 48 inches long, and then bind off.
PLEASE DON’T FORGET: Secure thread end by slipping thread through last stitch, tying a double knot, and weaving end back through stitches. A sewing needle works well to do this.
Chain enough stitches to measure about 4″ in width.
Row 1: Single crochet into each chain. Chain 1 and turn.
Row 2: Single crochet into each sc across row. Ch 1 and turn. Continue to single crochet to end, chain 1 and turn. Repeat row 2 until bandage measures 48 inches long
PLEASE DON’T FORGET: Secure thread end by slipping thread through last stitch, tying a double knot, and weaving end back through stitches. A sewing needle works well to do this
Loom Knit Pattern:
Not yet available : But if you know how, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
To Complete the Project:
AFTER you have woven the ends back into the stitches, wash the bandages, roll them and secure with a large safety pin. Put in plastic bag (several to a bag), remove air, and seal.
Send Your Bandages to:
The Dove Fund Bandage Brigade
171 Mulkey Lane, Arial, WA 98603
or in Ohio
From the Bandage Brigade Blog
Perhaps Therese of Estero, Fla., said it best when she wrote, “It’s a blessing to be able to help God’s special children in this way. We can’t heal their wounds but we can dress them with our love and concern. When I crochet these bandages I feel like I have meaning to my life again. I pray for each person that is given one of my bandages.”