Putting Your Crochet & Knit Skills to Work for Charity
As knitters and crocheters, it’s always satisfying to make something that we put our heart, soul, and hard work into for friends and loved ones. It can be equally rewarding to use the skills we possess to create and donate to those in need. There are several organizations that take knit and crochet donations to benefit a wide range of people and animals.
If you’re interested in donating your knit or crochet projects within your local community, there are a variety of options available. Most areas will have a local animal shelter, homeless shelter, or domestic violence shelter that may need items such as blankets, scarves, or hats. Always contact the intended organization prior to donation to be sure that your effort and donation will fulfill a need with that particular organization. It’s as simple as making a phone call to the organization to ask ahead of time if they are accepting donations and what sort of items they need most.
If you’re interested in reaching outside of your own community to assist others, there are a number of trusted organizations that work to benefit people and animals nationally and internationally. Below is a short list of established charities that are currently accepting donations.
“Knit Your Bit” – The National WWII Museum – New Orleans, LA, USA
Since its inception in 2006, Knit Your Bit has collected and distributed more than 50,000 scarves made by knitters and crocheters like yourself to veterans’ centers, hospitals, and service organizations throughout the United States. Scarves must be at least 6 inches wide by 60 inches long, machine washable and dryable, in regular yarn that is either gender-neutral or patriotic in color. Additionally, you can include a personal message of gratitude to the recipient with your donation. All donations must be mailed to the address in New Orleans listed on the website for distribution.
This knit pattern here fits the required dimensions, is easy to work up, and results in a soft, warm, and cozy scarf that would make a much appreciated donation.
Women & Children
“Knit A Square” – Bryanston, South Africa
If you only have a short amount of time or a small supply of available yarn, this is the perfect organization to match your needs. They accept 8 inch, knit or crochet squares, made with any yarn that will result in a warm square. Once received, the squares are sewn together to create blankets for orphaned children in South Africa. Since 2008, they have made and distributed over 90,000 blankets. If you have a bit more time on your hands, they also are happy to accept handmade beanies/hats, hand-warmers, and soft toys.
“Project Linus” – Belton, Missouri, USA (local chapters throughout the USA)
Since 1995, Project Linus has distributed over 8.5 million blankets to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or in need, through local hospitals, shelters, and social service agencies. Local chapters accept new, handmade blankets and afghans but they do request that you contact them prior to donation to learn which types of blankets are most needed in your area. They offer a yearly Knit & Crochet Along event or you can work individually on a blanket of your choosing.
This knit pattern here, fulfills the minimum required size (36”x36”) and specifications for donation, in a lovely, easy to create blanket.
“Feel Better Friends” – Olathe, Kansas
Feel Better Friends was born in 2014 in an effort to provide comfort to children battling cancer and other serious health issues. Crochet dolls are created by some 200 volunteers worldwide. While there is a basic pattern, each doll is customized to look like the child that will receive the doll and is made with a removable “wig”. In order to maintain a high standard for the children, there is an application process that involves creating a test doll, submitting photos, and receiving approval from admin prior to becoming an official volunteer. Once approved, you will be assigned a child in order to create a doll in their likeness.
“Awesome Breastforms” – Worldwide
Awesome Breastforms has succeeded in providing over 13,000 breast forms, free of charge, to women in 57 countries since 2015. Volunteers create cotton knit or crochet prosthetic breast forms for women who have had a mastectomy, lumpectomy, explant, or who have developmental issues. The knit and crochet breast forms are lighter, cooler, and more versatile than traditional silicone prosthetics. Because of the sensitive nature of this donation, there is a rigorous application process that includes a mentorship, photo approval, and physical approval of a completed set of breast forms.
“Snuggles Project” – Worldwide
The Snuggles Project has helped facilitate the distribution of more than 1 million blankets to animals in shelters around the world. The blankets not only provide comfort to the animals but also make shelters feel cozier to help boost the spirits of staff and encourage potential adopters to spend more time in the facilities. The Snuggles Project provides a directory of affiliated animal shelters worldwide that require knit, crochet, or sewn blankets. Requested blankets should be made of washable materials and be either 14”x14”, 24”x24”, or 36”x36”.
“Warm Up America!” – Carrollton, Texas, USA
Warm Up America! has provided more than 1 million handmade blankets and clothing to people in need since 1991. They accept a variety of knit and crochet items including small, 7”x9” sections that will later be made into blankets, full-size blankets, and clothing items such as hats and gloves. These items are then donated to shelters, hospitals, churches, and the American Red Cross for distribution to individuals.
Whether you decide to create and donate as an individual or make a group project out of it by including your family, friends, or fellow fiber artists, the benefits to the makers and the recipients are immeasurable. A small gift of your time and resources can mean a world of difference to a person or animal in need.
All organizations ask that donated items are made of washable materials, are clean, free of animal hair, and from a smoke-free environment to accommodate all recipients’ health needs.