A Grassy Park woman who had two of her toes amputated is encouraging other people with disabilities to use their skills for the betterment of society.
Delilah Richards, who has diabetes, fell into a deep depression after she lost her toes and although she went for counselling, she refused to communicate with anyone.
“After months of mourning the loss of my toes it made me realise how we don’t appreciate what we have. At least I can still walk,” she said.
Ms Richards decided to keep her hands busy and started knitting little caps for dolls. Soon 150 sets of knitted items filled her lounge.
A nurse at the hospital where she was receiving treatment suggested the garments be donated to premature babies.
After Ms Richards and husband Sidney delivered the first batch to Groote Schuur hospital, she decided the next lot should go to Retreat Day hospital, which she has “adopted” as her local charity.
Her daughter Lauren sent Southern Mail a picture of her mother’s recent handiwork delivered to the hospital.
Ms Richards knits up to 10 caps a day. “They are very small caps as the nurse told me the head size of a premi is the size of a tennis ball,” said Ms Richards.
Her aim is to knit as many caps, mittens and socks as possible.
“I tried new things and made soccer sets with different club colours,” she smiled.
Ms Richards said the cute little outfits are, “blessings to mothers who can’t afford baby clothes.”
“Premi baby clothes are not stocked in stores. The sizes start from one month old which is way to big for them,” she said.
Her husband said he is glad that, “with the Grace of God she found a way to overcome her depression.”
He said knitting for the children gave her purpose in life and it “changed her and helped her a lot.”
Although wool is not cheap, he said they have been fortunate to have received wool from one business and money to buy wool from another.
Mr Richards said they have been married for 25 years and his wife spends most nights knitting.
“I wish I could help her but I’m not good with the needles,” he said.
Ms Richards said she hopes to inspire others with disabilities to also give back to the community. “It doesn’t take much effort to knit or sew while sitting in a wheelchair, for example. If you have a skill, use it to help others.”