The gift of giving fills the heart and lifts the spirit. As crocheters and knitters, we can put our skills to work to benefit many worthy causes. The children and adults who receive our beautiful pieces know that a stranger cared enough to donate the time and energy in a very personal way. There is something soothing in a handmade hat, scarf, or blanket. It's like a warm hug that keeps on giving.
My infant granddaughter weighed less than 5 lbs at birth. The nurses at the hospital would place donated handmade hats on her head to keep her warm. These little beanies had been fashioned by knitters and crocheters who wanted to help these little babies thrive. Local hospitals as well as national and international groups collect and distribute these hats for preemies and newborns.
In researching this article, I found several of the major yarn companies and craft organizations posted articles on national and local organizations devoted to the cause of bringing handmade items to those in need. Some of these include:
Many groups were repeated in several articles. For more information, go to the websites for:
On the local level in your own town or community, you can reach out to such organizations as homeless shelters, women's shelters, and youth organizations that could benefit from your skills and open heart.
Making these garments for unknown individuals allows my creativity to blossom as I experiment with yarn, color, texture, stitches, and patterns. Sometimes we are given yarn, and we are challenged to incorporate and mix different yarns in our pieces. My current child's blanket is an expanded granny square with alternating large stripes of multicolored navy, plum, and turquoise. It is bright and cheerful. I hope that the boy or girl who receives it will feel its comfort and love.
For the past three years I have participated in Threads of Love. Our Connecticut chapter provides handmade crocheted or knitted blankets and shawls to children and adults with cancer or other serious medical conditions. Most recipients are patients at Yale-New Haven Hospital or other area hospitals. However, friends from the community and as far away as Florida or Washington have received these packages of hope and healing. Crocheters and knitters come from several towns in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Since the group began in 2009, local members gather about every 8 weeks to package the blankets and shawls in a hand-decorated bag. A card which expresses hope and caring wishes is placed in each bag. Last spring, the group celebrated a significant milestone, having completed and distributed 500 pieces.
As a member of Threads of Love, I have benefited from the pervasive spirit of love, workmanship, and camaraderie. As our gifts wrap the recipients in softness, warmth, and beauty, we have gotten so much by giving. The group welcomes donations and new members. The only requirement for your handmade blankets or shawls is that they be 100% acrylic and washable. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Source: http://woodbridgetownnews.com/500-shawls/}
Have you had any experience in crocheting or knitting for charity? Is there a specific organization that you would like to mention? Please share your thoughts in the comments section. This article will also be posted on Facebook. I welcome your comments and photos of your donated work.