Do you want to make a difference for needy families of infants? Learn how Bundles of Love Charity is making it happen–and how you can do the same
Do you have a love/hate relationship with the Internet?
(I know, this is an ironic question to ask on a website, hosted on the Internet. But stay with me a moment.)
If you’re anything like me, “love/hate” accurately describes your relationship to the Internet.
On one hand, yes, we love that we have a wealth of information from all over the world at our fingertips. We can keep tabs not only on what is happening in our own community, but we can also discover what’s going on across our state, country, or even world!
On the other hand, there’s a dark side of the Internet that I won’t delve into too deeply here. Suffice it to say that not everyone who posts on the Internet has altruistic purposes. Some want to mislead, to stir up hatred and fear, even to turn us against our fellow human beings for one reason or another.
But, when we use the Internet for the purpose in which it was intended–as a vast information superhighway, while still keeping our eyes open and our common sense employed–we can find so many ways to help serve our fellow human beings.
Mary Jo Prinsen, the founder of Bundles of Love Charity, is a perfect example of this!
How Mary Jo Found a Need and Chose to Fill It Through Charity Crafting
I’ll let Mary Jo take it from here to describe how she came to start Bundles of Love Charity.
In February 1999, my husband and I entered the Internet age. We purchased a home computer and obtained service to access the World Wide Web. In spite of my doubts that we really needed a computer at home, I became intrigued by the vast amount of information at my fingertips.
During my late night “surfing” expeditions, I stumbled into many websites related to my hobbies — sewing and needlework — and became aware of some of the many charities who have benefited from the ease and low-cost of networking and communicating via the information super-highway. I was especially drawn to charities aimed at helping infants.
At first I was dubious that so many infants could be in need in our wealthy country, but soon I became determined to clean out my fabric stash and start helping.History – Bundles of Love
Rather than simply stay in her original mindset–“surely, in the United States, there can’t possibly be many infants in need?!”–she determined to dig through her fabric and start sewing!
Mary Jo hasn’t looked back since then. She created a crafting group with her mother and a few other friends, making items requested by crisis pregnancy centers like baby quilts, blankets, and baby clothes.
Word of mouth proceeded to bring about not only more requests from pregnancy centers and hospitals, but also more volunteers willing to create.
Bundles of Love Charity is now a registered nonprofit charitable organization. And as of this writing, it comprises a whopping 12 workgroups all over the state of Minnesota!
How You Can Help
Let’s say you don’t live in Minnesota. You would rather knit (or crochet) for charity closer to home. What should you do?
I say, take Mary Jo’s story with Bundles of Love Charity and use it to chart your own course! You can take a look at this post regarding knitting for charity near you (and be sure to sign up for the free guide to help you out!). You can start out on your own or get some likeminded friends together to join you, as Mary Jo did.
Now then, if you do live in Minnesota, or if you’re happy to send some items to help babies and their families in Minnesota, here’s what you can do!
First of all, you can join one of the Bundles of Love Charity workgroups. You can find a list of their locations here. I would highly suggest starting here first, as you can contact the leader of the group nearest you and discuss what they need. (You may even be able to work alongside other group members!)
Curious as to what goes into a “Bundle of Love”? You can take a look here. (Do notice that Bundles of Love Charity needs many items that aren’t usually knitted or crocheted; you can get your non-crafting friends involved too!)
You can also donate needed supplies to workgroups! If you have extra yarn or needles or sewing notions or fabric, take a look here to see what is needed and how you can go about donating your extras to Bundles of Love Charity.
And if you really want to sink your time and energies into a very worthwhile cause, Bundles of Love Charity offers many other volunteer opportunities to do so! You can see the many ways you can contribute to this charity–outside of knitting or donating supplies–right here.
Finally, if you’d just really enjoy some inspiration for charity knitting (or charity anything, really)? Do take a look at their Facebook page. Here you’ll find not only all sorts of lovely photos of handmade donations, but you’ll also find the occasional thank-you note from someone directly impacted by a donation.
If you live in Minnesota, I hope you’ll be inspired to join forces with Bundles of Love Charity. If not, I hope their experience, growth, and good works encourage you to find your own way to knit for charity close to you!