Joy O’Connor from New Zealand contacted us this week after she heard about our urgent appeal for volunteer knitters to knit more lovable Woolley donkeys because they are in such high demand. Joy sent us this photo of a knitted donkey which her elder sister knitted for her some 59 years ago.
My 'Donkey' was knitted at the Wellington Opera House by my sister during rehearsals for 'Die Fledermaus' (my mother was in the opera). He’s been very much loved over the years and has had many touch ups. He still sits on my bed every day and is tucked up under the blankets at night.
Donkey has always just been called 'Donkey'. He has been bed pal, confidant and comforter to myself and all my children and grandchildren. He has had bucket loads of tears poured over him. When I travelled over to Australia to see my elder sister, who I hadn’t seen for 40 years, he came with me. Sitting in my handbag! I have photos of him 20 storeys up in her apartment looking out to sea. I’m 63 years old now and he is part of me. Strangely enough none of the family make fun of his still existence. He’s held in high regard and respected. If only he could talk... he would have some tales to tell!
Although Joy lives in New Zealand, she has joined our army of knitters to make a herd of Woolley donkeys for us. However, one of the first Woolley donkeys Joy knits will be for her first Great Grandson so that he can love and cherish his very own Woolley donkey for many years to come.
Since Woolley first arrived at the Sanctuary, he and his adorable knitted donkey friends have been growing in popularity every year. They are knitted by supporters and then sold in both our visitors’ centre and our online gift shop to raise funds to support our work.
If you would like to knit a herd of Woolley donkeys for us to sell in our gift shop to raise much needed funds, please register your interest.