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!