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Here’s How You Can Use Wool to Warm the World’s Neediest Children

If you love knitting with wool and keeping children warm, Wool-Aid is the wool knitting charity for you


What would you do if the wool knitting charity you had supported for a long time disbanded?

This was the dilemma facing former Warm Woolies knitters in 2009. Many of them congregated in a Ravelry group devoted to the cause in 2008, and a sense of purpose and camaraderie permeated the group. The group swelled to include over 500 knitters.

Then came the announcement late in 2009, and the Ravelry group knitters were thrown. They knew the children supported by Warm Woolies were still in desperate need of warmth from the bitter cold of their residential climates.

Happily, rather than stew about their loss, these intrepid knitters took action! First, they decided to form a new wool knitting charity: Wool-Aid. Next, they produced a website along with a new Ravelry group, and they were off and running. Then they continued to knit and crochet for these chilly children to make them warm again.

As of this writing, the Wool-Aid Ravelry group has over 2,000 members!

Photo: Lamia Afghan Foundation (thank you!) These kiddos are wearing Wool-Aid donations!

How Wool-Aid Warms Children

The way Wool-Aid keeps children warm is right in the name: through the magic of wool.

But they also depend upon service organizations around the world. You can find some of these organizations in Afghanistan, Alaska, India, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Ontario, and Tibet. They’re also working in both Syria and Syrian refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon.

Wool-Aid prides itself on its flexibility; it is dedicated to finding the areas of greatest need and providing donations for those areas. It also prides itself on selecting service organizations where the first priority is providing the most help to children.

They do not donate to any organization that discriminates based on race, creed, or nationality.

How You Can Help This Wool Knitting Charity 

This is the perfect charity for you if you prefer to knit with wool! Unlike many knitting charities, Wool-Aid insists upon at least 80% wool content for the items they accept.

Other fibers from hoofed animals – cashmere, mohair, and alpaca, for instance — are also acceptable. However, they do request you not use more than 50% alpaca because it does not have the elasticity nor the lanolin of wool.

(You can use alpaca as an add-in fiber, though — it helps make garments very warm.)

Most Wool-Aid efforts focus on older children and teenagers, though they accept infant and toddler items as well.

If you would like to help knit clothing and other items for children for Wool-Aid, be sure to first visit the Wool-Aid website. Here you will find guidelines for items accepted, patterns you can use, and what items are most needed.

If you’re on Ravelry, their Ravelry group will not only offer the same information as the website, but it will also provide a wonderful community via their discussion board.

So what do you do when your favorite wool knitting charity closes its doors? If you’re the knitters of Wool-Aid, you build a new set of doors and open them.

And when you knit for Wool-Aid, you can rest assured that you are creating something very valuable. Your knitting can help our world’s least powerful and most vulnerable citizens enjoy a better life and future.