Knitting Community: Knitting for Charity
Tips on Knitting for Charity
Knitting for charity is a wonderful thing. Working on your own or with other knitters to make items to give to someone who really needs them will give you a great feeling, but there are a few things you should consider before you start knitting for charity.
Use your knitting skill to help other people by knitting for charity. Here are the top five places you can lend your needles to a good cause.
Afghans for Afghans
Begun in 2001, Afghans for Afghans is a humanitarian project that brings warm blankets, hats, mittens, socks and sweaters to Afghanistan.
Artists Helping Children
This group encourages yarn artists to make toys and dolls for children in hospitals and shelters. The site has a great collection of patterns as well as listings of hospitals and shelters where you might send your finished items.
The mission of Binky Patrol is to give homemade blankets to children and teens in need of comfort, often at shelters, hospitals and other relief agencies. Local chapters help distribute the blankets nationwide. There are links to many patterns, and if there's not a group in your area you can form one.
Blankets for Canada
As its name suggests, this Canadian knitting charity provides blankets to the homeless in Canada. The site offers a couple of patterns and links to chapters in the various provinces.
Blankets of Hope
This charity accepts knit, crocheted and sewn blankets that are donated to servicemen and women who have been wounded in combat. The blankets are distributed through the VA system.
A British knitting charity, Bonnie Babies provides clothing, blankets and burial outfits to families of premature babies throughout the United Kingdom. The site offers links to many patterns and information on how to donate, as well as forums and memorials for babies who have died.
Chemocaps was started in honor of Heather Spoll, who died of cancer in 2000. The group encourages people to start local chapters and knit caps for chemo patients at hospitals and hospices in their own area.
Christmas at Sea
For sailors who have to be away from their families at the holidays, the Seaman's Church Institute of New York and New Jersey provides handmade scarves, socks, hats, gloves, vests and more. Use the patterns provided and plan to ship your projects in the fall.
Cubs for Kids
This program provides homemade teddy bears to homeless kids. Contact the group for the standard bear pattern. Bears are collected in December and distributed to homeless shelters in time for Christmas.
Guideposts Knit for Kids
Set up by an editor of Guideposts magazine, this knitting charity provides handmade sweaters to children all over the world. Nearly 400,000 sweaters have been donated in the past 10 years. Four patterns and mailing instructions are provided on the website.
Handmade Afghans to Thank Our Armed Forces
This is a project that gives military veterans blankets made out of 6x9 knit rectangles given by knitters from across the United States. They are mostly donated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Hats for the Homeless
Sometimes it's hard enough braving the cold weather when you know you've got a warm house to go home to. Imagine how much more difficult it is not to have a home in the cold winter months. Hats for the Homeless accepts store-bought and homemade items to help keep homeless people warm.
Heavenly Angels in Need
Heavenly Angels focuses on helping the community through various knitting projects. They are particularly interested in helping babies and children, in America and overseas. The site offers patterns and lots of information on ways you can help.
Knit Your Bit
Knit Your Bit is a program put on by the National World War II Museum in New Orleans to provide hand-knit scarves to veterans of World War II through veterans' hospitals and other organizations.
Life2Orphans is dedicated to improving life for orphans in the Ukraine through donations of homemade clothing as well as food and other support. Click on "Hat Project" to find out how you can help warm the heads and the lives of Ukrainian children.
Lion Yarn Charity Connection
Lion Brand Yarn has an amazing searchable database of charity knitting opportunities. Search by state or country, by what item you'd like to knit, or by organization name. Sometimes the information is not very detailed, but if you're looking for a place to donate your chemo caps in Kentucky or your afghans in Arizona, it's likely you'll find the perfect giving opportunity here.
Mother Bear Project
The Mother Bear Project provides bears and other toys to young victims of AIDS in Africa. The group charges for patterns and asks for a donation to help cover shipping costs.
Newborns in Need
An aid organization for families with sick babies, Newborns in Need accepts clothing, blankets, hats and other items for babies, including store-bought items.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
The Prayer Shawl Ministry encourages people to act locally by creating blessing-filled shawls for people in need of physical or spiritual comfort. You could, of course, also donate these to another charitable knitting organization.
Project Angel Kisses
Project Angel Kisses is a close-knit group of faithful women who knit booties, blankets, hats, pillowcases and more for babies in need at hospitals around the U.S. and Canada.
Ray of Hope
Providing clothes, bonnets, blankets and more to premature babies, this British charity's website offers many patterns, including patterns for machine knitters. The organization also has a Yahoo group to help donors stay in touch.
Scarves for Special Olympics
Learn about the different scarf projects going on for Special Olympics events in various states, including what colors are being used and when the deadlines are.
Stitches from the Heart
A non-profit organization that sends homemade clothing and blankets to premature babies across the United States, the group also has a yarn store in Santa Monica, California.
The Ships Project
This group sends knitted items to Iraq and Afghanistan based on what the troops request at any given time. Items are shipped to Florida and then gathered and shipped to soldiers once a month, so there are opportunities to help all year long.
Warm Up America
Warm Up America is all about groups of crafters getting together to knit or crochet blocks that are joined into an afghan that can be given away locally or donated to the national organization.
Warming Families provides blankets and other warm items to people in homeless shelters. The charity works internationally with community volunteers who coordinate giving in their area. Links to many projects are provided.
What Makes a Shawl a Prayer Shawl?
A shawl is just a shawl, but the intention behind it and thoughts put into it transform a standard shawl into what's known as a prayer shawl.