November was another busy month with some big kit handovers and here are the latest totals
Number of items donated in November  =  14,915
Countries  =  Zimbabwe, Kenya, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Care4Calais refugees in Slough
Total items donated so far in 2021  =  111,548
Total items donated since 1998  =  818,172
 
Eastern European project support
 
Over the past 23 years we have supported a large number of charities who work in cold weather Eastern European countries and for some reason we seem to have either lost contact or the projects have moved on and we are now looking to find some new partner charities to support.  We have close to 20 boxes of brand new cold weather coats from Reading FC, Watford FC and Manchester United, along with other winter sports kit.
If you are aware of any UK based charities who are looking for this type of clothing for Eastern Europe, could you please let me have their details. The boxes will need to be collected from the containers at Hemel Hempstead. As the items are all club branded they cannot be used for projects in the UK.
Malawi U17/U14 National teams
 
I think by now everyone is aware of how proud we are that Zanil made it through the national trials to be selected for the Malawi U17 team. Remembering of course that he is still only 15.  On Wednesday, he was in the squad to play against Botswana in an U17 tournament which was being held in Lesotho. Unfortunately he didn’t get called on but there are more games to play and the teams drew 1-1.
You may also have seen that from our brilliant KitAid FC U14 team, four players were selected for national trials. They attended last weekend and are waiting to hear if they will be called back for the final trial. Fingers crossed they will be and who knows where this could lead to for each boy.  We should also know soon who they will be playing in the National competition for District League winners.
As well as making us feel incredibly proud, it shows the depth of talent that exists for the FOMO children, and they are fortunate to receive the support from Mary, Keith and the team, to identify and develop this. Long live FOMO!
Boxing Up – Hatfield
 
After the very successful mini boxing up session held in October, we wanted to wait to see how things were in the Covid world and hopefully hold another session in December. There is also the usual juggling act of making sure we have enough kit to sort, enough charities who can collect and enough volunteers to help out on the day.
Unfortunately, with the advent of the very unwelcome new Covid variant and a combination of the juggling requirements not quite falling into place, we have had to play safe and delay things until next year.  Hopefully sooner rather than later. As soon as we are in a position to proceed we will let you know.
UK Support
 
As mentioned in the last monthly update, we are keen to support local projects where we can with unbranded or obscure (i.e. not UK teams) kit.
We have supplied a Care4 Calais project in Slough with a number of winter coats which had no branding, donated a few hundred pairs of socks to the New Hope Trust homeless charity in Watford and some lovely Olympic Marseille scarves and bobble hats to children who attend the Ngorli school in Watford.  We have worked with Ngorli for a number of years, supporting their projects in Ghana, but they also run a great Saturday morning school to help kids who are struggling at mainstream school here. They have teachers who support the kids with reading, writing and then for the older children, with homework and GCSE syllabus work. There are some lovely pictures of the kids on our FB/Twitter sites and they were happy with the scarves, hats and gloves even though they had no idea who Olympic Marseille were!!
Photos from 2021
 
As we haven’t produced a calendar for 2022 I will do a daily top 4 photos of 2021 for the 12 days of Christmas on Twitter/FB/Instagram. There are hundreds of lovely photos so do look out for them and if you have a particular favourite please let me know and I will include it.
Football/Netball Bonanza
 
FOMO will be holding their annual football/netball bonanza between Christmas and New Year, which is a major highlight for the kids who all come together from their 14 orphan support centres.
KitAid decided to give every child something to keep and remember the event and we have sent over 1.000 beautiful shiny gold medals on a  ribbon.  We received a big (50%) discount from Five Star Trophies in Hemel Hempstead and we sent the boxes over by air freight to make sure they arrived in time.  They did and we can’t wait to see the pictures of hundreds of kids wearing the medals at the end of the month.
2022 Thank You certificates
 
Another year flies by (apart from during lockdown!) and it is time to start work on the new Thank You certificates.
Once the photos have been chosen the next step is for Carole to design the layout. Once this is signed off it will go to the printers and I can then post them out to you or send the artwork.  All being well this should be complete by mid January and if you do need to hand any out in the interim, please keep using the current version.
Awards
 
I will get back on to my soap box and raise the thorny subject of despite all of the amazing things KitAid achieves, I believe our hard work mostly goes unrecognised!!!  At this time of the year I see so many charities posting about awards they have won and even though I know I shouldn’t, I can’t help but feel irritated that you all do so much, but we don’t get recognised.
I only raise it, as I haven’t got the soap box out for a while!, in case anyone sees an up and coming award event that we can realistically enter. They do involve a bit of work, which I am happy to do, so please let me know if you do see or hear of anything relevant.
Soap box put away now, until the next time!!
As I am writing this update, a tournament is taking place in Bangladesh, where we have supplied kits for the teams and local schools. This shows the reach of little KitAid and all of our efforts. We can now reach across different Continents.
Thank you for your support and I hope you all stay well and have a wonderful Christmas.
Derrick
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