Friday, July 20, 2012

Knitting Without Guilt

I think we've all been touched by the amazing work various charitable organizations have done over the years, be it the Red Cross, or Toys for Tots, or Habitat for Humanity.  We see people step outside their own routines to reach out and help others, and we are deeply moved and impressed.  Most of us have charities that hold a special meaning for us personally, to combat an illness or problem we or our loved ones face. 

I made it a New Year's Resolution to do more charitable knitting this year.  I'm ahead of last year, but still not as far along as I'd like.  For me part of the disconnect is knowing what knitting projects are right for what charity.  I have an extravagant stash, and all want to knit sorts of things I can't use.  The trick is pairing the project with the charity.  In case you're having that same dilemma, let me direct you to the charities below:

Caps for a Cure is a group supporting cancer centers around the country with chemo caps.  Visit their website for recommended patterns, or for the address to send completed projects.

Hats For the Homeless is a group that distributes hats, gloves, mittens, and scarves to the homeless of NYC.  For those not familiar with northeast winters, nights are routinely in the 20s and below from November through April in NY, and these garments are seriously needed.  On this site is information on how to arrange to become a donor, and also how to coordinate a garment drive in your area.

The Mother Bear Project is just the thing for all of us who love to knit toys!  The recipients of the bears are children who have been orphaned or affected by HIV/AIDS.  These lovely toys have been distributed throughout the African continent, bringing comfort to over 76 thousand children.

For all you blanket knitters, and especially for those who love to knit children's blankets, Project Linus is an amazing charity operating in all 50 states.  Named for the classic Peanuts character who was never without his trusty blanket, they supply blankets to children in need in a variety of situations including hospitals and social service centers, and more. 

If none of these organizations tickle your fancy, ask your LYS for a list of local charities who want knitted goods.  Local hospitals and cancer centers, nursing and rehabilitation facilities, Meals on Wheels, Department of Child and Family Services, and churches/synagogues/mosques all have periodic needs, drives, and distribution networks.  Check with your local outlets.  You'll find a charity that matches your love of knitting and your existing stash with projects you're excited to make.  The knitting is that much more enjoyable when you know it's going to an excellent cause.

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