Your knitting can make a life-changing difference to children worldwide through Knit for Kids
Imagine you’re a child in a cold refugee camp. You’ve escaped a vicious war in your home country, and you really just wish you could go back. But for now you must wait with your family — or without, if the war left you an orphan.
Or imagine you’re a child in a very poor family living in Chicago. Winters are bitterly cold, but your family can’t afford new winter clothes. If you’re lucky, you might be able to squeeze into a tattered sweater from two winters ago. If not, you’re stuck wearing old T-shirts and shivering as you struggle to focus on math and reading in your classroom.
Does anyone know what you’re going through? Does anyone care?
Knitting charity Knit for Kids knows how the struggles children in poverty face during the wintertime. Many children need love and attention as badly as — or worse than — they need warm clothes.
That’s why the Knit for Kids mission is to provide children in need with warm, cozy clothes and accessories made with love.
A Story of Hope and Love – Knit for Kids
Knit for Kids began its life well over 20 years ago as a knitting charity sponsored by Guideposts magazine. In 1995, Guideposts began to encourage knitters and crocheters to create sweaters for needy children.
Knitters and crocheters responded in a big way, and soon children all over the world were receiving brand-new clothing created just for them, often for the first time in their lives!
Even better still, these sweaters had long lives, because as children outgrew them, the next generation then received them.
In 2009, Knit for Kids moved from the direction of Guideposts to World Vision. Thanks to the long reach of World Vision, Knit for Kids grew stronger and mightier.
Although World Vision is a Christian organization, it dedicates its work to people of all religions. It serves over 100 countries all over the world, including the United States.
From the Knit for Kids website:
Sixty percent of the items World Vision receives are distributed as far away as Armenia, Nicaragua, Swaziland, and Tanzania. Forty percent go to destinations as close as Appalachia, New Orleans, and the Bronx. Sometimes these creations are shipped to an area that experienced a recent natural disaster.
From Sweaters to Many Winter Accessories
Originally, Knit for Kids collected only sweaters. However, as the program has grown, World Vision has found that the people it serves need far more blankets, hats, scarves, and mittens.
They do continue to accept knitted sweaters. However, the famous Knit for Kids sweater patterns have been removed from their website to encourage knitters to create the items that are in greater demand. (Want to find a wonderful sweater knitting pattern for kids? Take a look at these.)
So, if at any time you wonder what Knit for Kids needs most, take a look at their patterns page.
While Knit for Kids encourages you to use their patterns, you can also use other patterns you love.
How You Can Help: Knitting and More
The Knit for Kids website, especially their FAQ page, will give you all the information you need to create warm winter accessories for needy children. This includes yarn guidelines and where to ship (or drop off) items after you’ve finished them.
Be sure to check out the Knit One, Bless Two page as well. While World Vision and Knit for Kids hold a base in Pennsylvania, Debbie Macomber’s K1B2 program has a home in Washington state. So you can knit for this program regardless of which coast you live closest to!
Knit for Kids offers one additional level: child sponsorship. If you’d like to knit for one specific child and develop a relationship with him or her, you can get involved in World Vision’s child sponsorship program.
Through your knitting, you can warm a needy child and show them love and care. Most importantly, they’ll know you’ve remembered them. Why not get your needles clicking or your hooks hooking for Knit for Kids?
Live in the UK and looking for ways to knit for charity? Check out my posts on UK knitting charities here!