How to Knit for Charity Near You (& Your Free Guide)
Want to knit for charity near you? Follow these suggestions for projects and places to donate
New readers and subscribers often tell me, “I want to knit for charity near me.” In fact, my unscientific estimate suggests that at least 80% of the people who write to me for the first time ask me how they can do this.
It’s not hard to understand why this is such a deep-felt need to knitters who wish to create for charity.
In our own community, we are best able to see the needs. And, when we knit for charity for that community, we may feel as if we can most directly see the results of our efforts.
Also, shipping our knitted projects to other parts of the country — or other parts of the world! — can be expensive. When we can drive or even walk to a drop-off location in our area, it’s much more economical.
And I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying, “Charity begins at home.”
I would certainly never discourage anyone from knitting for charity for needs outside their own area! After all, charity knitting is a wonderful way to help people in other parts of the country and even around the world.
But when we see a need close to home, and we want to fill it, charity knitting is a great way to do that, too.
Many fabulous knitting charities with a local focus exist all over the world; sometimes national or worldwide charities offer chapters. But often, all you really need to do is go to service agencies in your town and see what they might need or want.
The following is a list of some popular knitting projects and where you might consider donating them.
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Knitting Projects That You Can Offer for Charity Close to Home
Stuffed toys: Make stuffed toys such as teddy bears, monkeys, and dolls, and offer them to places such as fire houses, hospitals, homeless and domestic violence shelters, social service departments, and police departments.
Such toys can be genuine godsends for children in traumatic situations, such as long-term illnesses, fires, and cases of abuse and neglect.
Hats and scarves: I have yet to hear of a homeless shelter that will turn away a box of knitted hats and scarves. Particularly in areas where winters are extremely cold, these are a tremendous help to shelter residents. Domestic violence shelters will often take them, as well.
Also, consider contributing to the trend of charitable yarn bombing! Try hanging hats and scarves around town with notes attached that say they can be taken by anyone who needs them.
Mittens and socks: Socks are often overlooked as great projects for homeless shelters, yet these are among the most desperately needed item of clothing in the homeless population. Mittens, too, are greatly needed by homeless shelters, particularly in colder climates.
Blankets: Afghans can also be donated to homeless and domestic violence shelters. Lap blankets and baby blankets can be donated to hospitals, where they may be used for babies, especially preemies, and those recovering from amputation surgery.
Be sure to check into any nearby assisted living facilities and veteran’s hospitals, too.
Chemo caps: Hospitals of all kinds, especially those with cancer treatment centers, will always be glad to accept donated caps for people who have lost their hair from chemotherapy.
Premature baby clothing: Any NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) will likely be thrilled to accept hats, layette items, and blankets sized to fit preemies.
It’s important to contact these organizations before you begin knitting, to make sure you follow any guidelines they have, and to make sure they actually want and need what you are making.
If you’ve already knitted something, you can of course go ahead and call and see if they can take what you’ve made. Many will be happy to accept.
Do you have any other suggestions for charity knitting and places to take those items locally? Let me know, so we can spread the word!
I love 2 knit.
Hi, I have a yarn stash I sadly need to get rid of as I am moving, I would like to donate it to a charitable group near me in Broadbeach, Gold Coast. If you are able to give me a contact so I can drop of.
Hi Sue! I suggest checking out this post and contacting one of the charities mentioned within: https://www.knittingforcharity.com/find_your_niche_among_these_great_australian_knitting_charit.html Hope this helps!
I am not a great knitter but can knit simple blankets and baby beanie hats. I would like to involve our childrens afterschool group to knit squares for blankets for the elderly in the Paisley and Johnstone areas (scotland). I am a little concerned for the elderly this winter due the high cost of fuel, which many will suffer terrible illness and even die from the cold. I would love to see this as a nationwide activity for schools, community groups ect. Due you think this would be a feasable project and how do i go about it. Please let me know your thoughts
From Elaine Sparkes Renfrewshire Scotland.
Hello Elaine! I think if you start small with exactly what you’ve suggested here–involving the afterschool group to knit squares for blankets–you could very well find your group growing behind your wildest dreams. But begin right where you are first! Since you’re thinking of your local afterschool group, go to the person in charge and find out if they might be interested. Explain your vision, and I suspect you’ll get a lot more people excited about it as well. (The idea of charity knitting just seems to have that effect on people.) Good luck!
I am working with a non profit who is giving away loss books to children who are victims of the tornado in western Kentucky in December. We need 1,200 hand knit new child size blankets to give to them with the books, as recommended by a therapist. Can you group help?
Hello Gwen! I don’t have a charity group myself, but you are certainly welcome to post your information on the Knitting for Charity Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/NicoleAtKnittingforCharity I can then also share it with the Knitting for Charity with Nicole Facebook group. That should get plenty of eager eyes on your needs. 🙂
Hi Nicole thank you again I love reading your news letter
Thank you, Jenny!
I am already a member but I need the HOW TO knit for Charity Near You. I don’t want to sign u twice. Is there another way to get the download?
I will send it to you, Beverly. Thanks!
I knit and crochet baby blankets and clothing to pregnancy resource centers. A lot of these parents are young first-time moms who may not have receive homemade items in their life and they tend to flock to these items.
That is a wonderful idea, Jennifer. Thank you for sharing!
I also knit baby blankets for 2 groups in Lansing, MI who teach the Moms to be and the new Moms how to care for the babies, find work/housing and many other things. Pregnancy resource centers are great to knit and crochet for.
Very true. Thanks for mentioning a great idea!
I knit for our military men and women, thru Operation Gratitude.com. Marion
A great way to knit for our military service personnel!
Knitted knockers for cancer patients
Soap bags for homeless
Knubbelchen for homeless,chronic ill, domestic violence, abused,.children and adults
Caps, mittens, lap blankets for nursing homes.
A small blanket for animal shelter.
Great examples, Sherry. 👍
Great ideas! One amendment: not all hospitals have a premie unit or NICU. I work in an OB unit in a small town. We welcome hats of all sizes for newborns but really don’t need premie knitted clothes. We send those babies to a hospital with a NICU. We have several great groups in our town and county who give us quilts and crocheted or knitted blankets. One woman who was knitting hats for babies turned 102 and decided she could no longer knit as much as she wanted to for us. We still have a cabinet full of ‘Ruby’ hats to give the babies and hope someone will step in to knit more,!
Thank you so much for pointing this out! I am aware that not all towns have NICUs, and I’m a little surprised that I had that line this article. *facepalm* I’ll change that ASAP. I sure hope someone steps in to fill Ruby’s shoes!
We are partnering with a local low-income school to offer hats and gloves as behavior incentives and for any additional kids in need. And they have smaller hands and heads than grown-ups!
What a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing!
I knit for a crisis pregnancy center. They are thrilled to have baby clothes and blankets to distribute to the moms who seek their help.
That’s a great suggestion, Renee. Thank you!
I own and run a not for profit organisation called Knitting for Brisbanes Needy. We are always looking for knitters, crocheters, loomers, people who sew etc to make and donate items to our group.
We give out all donations free of charge to the homeless, hospitals including NICU units for prem babies, babies born sleeping; chemo patients, children wards, emergency departments etc.
Also domestic violence refuges, indigenous communities, animal welfare shelters, wildlife carers etc. The list goes on and on.
So if any members from Queensland, Australia (or anywhere for that matter) would like to help us help the less fortunate, you can find us at http://www.knittingforbrisbanesneedy.com.au and also on Facebook.
Thanks for the new site, definitely helps me read it on my iPhone and I pad!
Keep up the great work!
Karen in Australia
Thanks for stopping by and letting us know about your organization, Karen! Aussies, this is a great way to knit for charity close to home. And I’m so glad you like the new site!
I agree about the new format – love it! Easy to read and so professional looking – great job, Nicole!
Thank you, Joan!
I love the new format! I can now facebook your articles, which I have tried to do without success in the past. Thanks for the upgrade!
So glad it’s working better for you, Skye!
Thank you for all that you do to help knitters find ways to help heal the world with their generosity. If Michiganders are looking for a way to help kids and adults in Detroit during the winter, we would love to help you get your mittens on the hands of those in need. Mittens for Detroit accepts all sizes of handmade mittens, gloves, and fingerless mitts. Please check our website for details – http://www.MittensForDetroit.org – and follow us at Facebook.com/MittensForDetroit for more details and information. Thank you!!!!