Your charity knitting can bring comfort and warmth to veterans through the HAPpy Stitchers Afghan Project
Do you ever wonder if your charity knitting is really making a difference?
As a charity knitter, it can be frustrating to deliver or send a donation to a charity and then a) wonder if it was received, b) wonder if it was appreciated, and/or c) wonder if it was used.
So let’s bring some encouragement on in here! This is a letter received by a knitting charity called the HAPpy Stitchers Afghan Project, written by one of the veterans’ homes to which they had donated.
I want to take the time to sincerely thank you for your donation.
With nearly 500 veterans living at the home, your donation of 60 afghans, 30 propping pillows, 2 hats, 1 scarf, and 3 pairs of socks will go a long way towards improving the quality of life for our residents, especially as we deal with the impacts of the pandemic.
On behalf of all of us, I want to thank you for helping us make a positive difference. Your incredible support encourages our veterans to live life to their fullest while helping our staff truly “serve those who served!”
I don’t know about you, but a letter like that brings tears to my eyes! What a wonderful reminder of the positive impact charity knitting can make on the lives of so many.
Serving Those Who Served: the HAPpy Stitchers Afghan Project
I first heard of this group when one of its founders, Jan Wilcox, wrote to me with this message:
[Our group] makes afghans for injured servicepersons, homeless veterans and vets in veterans homes. We collect knitted and crocheted 6 x 9 rectangles and hold design events 2 times a year to combine them into twin size afghans.
We have a Facebook group if you would like to check us out. Closed group but just ask to join. My sister Annette and I started this group after a previous group that we were with disbanded.”
The group is no longer private; it’s now open to the public. And taking a look at the delightful photos (as well as cards and letters like the one quoted earlier) is truly an exercise in inspiration! You can check out the group here.
The HAPpy Stitchers’ directors are based in Ohio, and as such they send their projects to veterans homes in the state. They send afghans and propping pillows primarily to the Sandusky Veterans Home, but they sometimes send to other nursing homes as well.
The group’s activities have changed a bit since its inception. Sadly, Jan’s sister Annette–who once assisted her in designing afghans with the rectangles they received–passed away in 2020. So now, the group is accepting afghans already designed and sewn (or crocheted) together. They are continuing to take afghans and pillows to veterans!
How You Can Help the HAPpy Stitchers’ Mission
If you love to create afghans, especially afghans with lots of magnificent colors and textures, this is the group for you! And, of course, if you want to help improve the quality of life for veterans, this is an outstanding way to do so.
The HAPpy Stitchers guidelines are pretty simple. They request no overly hole-y or lacy patterns, no pastel colors, and no peace symbols or yellow stars. Be sure to use only 100% washable acrylic yarn.
You’ll want to join the Facebook group if you would like to participate. In addition to information about the group, you’ll find nonstop inspiration in the form of photos of beautifully made afghans. You can also find patterns for squares in the comments of the pinned post at the top of the group.
To get the shipping address, just send a private message to Jan.
This is such a wonderful way to improve the quality of life and provide comfort and encouragement to veterans. I hope you’ll consider creating afghans for the HAPpy Stitchers!