Sometimes charity knitting organizations just seem to take on lives of their own. The Special Olympics Scarf Project is just such an organization. Back in 2009, Red Heart Yarns joined forces with the Special Olympics to form the Special Olympics USA Scarf Project. The idea behind this project was to show support to Special Olympics athletes all across the country with knitted and crocheted scarves. The project was incredibly successful, perhaps beyond the wildest dreams of either Red Heart or the Special Olympics. So many donations of handmade scarves poured in that they actually outnumbered Special Olympians! The project was almost the victim of its own success. Red Heart could no longer commit the resources necessary to distribute scarves, and so it announced with sadness at the end of the 2012 Special Olympics that it would no longer run the project. But if there is any force of nature that finds a way, it’s the generosity of charity knitters. Even without Red Heart, knitters were determined to continue covering Special Olympians with the love only a handmade item can bring. Individual states began to sponsor their own Scarf Project, so that even now, in 2014, the project continues on the state level. Marissa, who blogs at Colouring with Yarn, stepped up to coordinate the project among all the states that participate. Special Olympics in each state contacts her with their needs for scarves, and she posts updates so that all knitters who wish to participate can knit scarves for their own states or for others that need scarves.
How You Can Help
Marissa has made it very easy to see which states are participating and how to get scarves (or other winter accessories) to various state Special Olympics organizations. First, you can visit the blog post she has set up specifically for this. At a glance, you can find all the states participating and where you can send scarves, along with each state’s colors. Second, you can visit the Ravelry group she has set up. This is a great way to commune with other knitters from your state or for another you’re knitting for. Finally, you can also check in with the Knit and Crochet for a Cause Facebook page, which also works on the project. The information you’re looking for regarding projects, guidelines, and shipping information can all be found on any of these websites. If you’d like to do some charity knitting for Special Olympians, you’ll love participating in the Special Olympics Scarf Project!