History of Blankets For Baby Rhinos
BFBR was founded in November 2016 by Elisa Best and Sue Brown. The group’s purpose initially was to knit some squares to make blankets for a rhino orphanage in Natal. The carers had noticed that the orphaned rhino, mainly victims of poaching had not only found warmth but also comfort from blankets when they first arrived at the orphanage. They also thought that asking people to knit squares would generate more awareness of the crisis affecting rhinos worldwide.
The group grew rapidly to well over 3000 worldwide and members were recruited to help run the group.
We soon became a victim of our own success and after articles in the BBC, Independent and New York Times, we were soon inundated with more blankets than we could cope with. We therefore now use our crafts to raise funds (sales and raffles) to offer support to our beneficiaries by purchasing much needed equipment and animal feed (rhino milk, meerkat feed, elephant milk, dog feed for anti-poaching dogs). We have also recently donated blankets beanies and scarves to the antipoaching rangers in the Kruger National Park. Members will attach messages of support which are greatly appreciated by those doing these difficult jobs. We never donate funds directly, only goods and all equipment remains our property.
We hope to be able to continue to expand and help those organisations helping our wildlife worldwide. We have no paid staff and we are all volunteers. We will occasionally help to cover transport costs but we try and use any funds to help wildlife directly and ask that our members to cover costs of their own materials to create crafts. All our items are unique and handmade with love by our members.
The group is currently run by Elisa Best and Nita Smith, with help from Julia Nicholson, Valerie Means and Carol Lakin who also runs our online shop.
We are a registered Charitable incorporated organisation in the UK as well as a registered non profit organisation in South Africa (sister organisation Blankets for Baby Rhinos Africa).