This story has been making the rounds online today and I couldn’t resist sharing it here. On my blog, I talk a lot about finding your passion and using what you are good at to take action and make a difference. The oldest man in Australia, Afred Date, who is turning 109 years old this year, is using his gift of knitting to make sweaters. These aren’t just any sweaters for anybody – they are for Little Penguins (a species of a Penguin) in Phillip Island that had been affected by an oil spill in 2012.
I wanted to dig deeper and find out more about the issue of oil spills, how the wildlife is affected and more about this project. I was surprised to learn that a dime-sized drop of oil on a Little Penguin could kill them. The oil separates and mats their feathers allowing water to get in and this makes them very cold, and less able to move around well and get food?
Here is a video of a Little Penguin rescue showing the dangers of oil spills:
The campaign, Knits For Nature was created by the Penguins Foundation. The foundation has a Wildlife Clinic in Phillip Island, where 438 Penguins came to the center for urgent care because after an oil spill in the waters where they live. The Penguins Foundation asked for experienced knitters to knit Penguin Jumpers (which is what they call sweaters) for the Penguins. The sweaters prevents the Penguins from swallowing the toxic oil when trying to clean themselves. Ingesting the oil can kill them. The wool keeps the Little Penguins warm and it also absorbs lots of the oil from their skin and feathers.
So, back to the request for knitters for these sweaters – that is where Alfred Date, the man from Australia comes in. His retirement home wanted to take part in this issue and they asked Alfred to help make the sweaters. Alfred has been knitting as a hobby for 80 years and is using something he loves to create change. Alfred is yet another example of you are never too young – OR TOO OLD – to make a difference.
Here is another video by the WWF releasing Little Penguins back into the ocean after they have been cleaned and healthy enough to return:
As a result of this program and the amazing and caring people who care for the penguins, 96% of the Little Penguins were saved and are now fully healthy! Lots of knitters made the sweaters and helped so many penguins. This is also a great example of little things adding up to make a big difference. Something as small as knitting a sweater can save a life. That is definitely inspirational.
Want to learn more about the Penguins Foundation, Knits For Nature and how you can take action and help these awesome Little Penguins? Go to PenguinFoundation.org.au for more information!
This post originally appeared at: http://www.callmehannah.ca/2015/02/11/there-is-so-much-more-to-this-story-than-a-really-cute-penguin-wearing-a-red-sweater/ on February 11, 2015