This is a guest post by Sitinee Sheffert.
Charitable projects come in all different forms, from raising money to service projects. And service projects can vary – from volunteering in a homeless shelter to collecting cans at school for a food drive. Another form service, sometimes overlooked, is the opportunity to make items for nonprofits in need.
As an avid crafter and philanthropist, I wanted to find a way to combine my two passions. Why couldn’t I use my passion to help others? And that was one of the main reasons why I started the Giving Artfully – a website intended to help crafters connect to different organizations wanting handmade items.
In this post, I want to share four great organizations that need volunteers to make handmade items. It is often assumed that most items needed are for knitters and crocheters. This list will illustrate, however, that crafting for a cause requires all different types of crafting skills.
I picked organizations focusing on different social issues, ranging from helping the homeless to making things for men and women in the military. Similarly, these organizations also require diverse types of crafting skills. The skill levels range from beginner with no crafting skills to experienced yarn crafters. My hope is that this list provides an opportunity for anyone to start a charity crafting project.
Take a look at the list and start crafting for a cause today!
These Organizations Want Handmade Goods
Knit for Kids
Started in 1996, Knit for Kids is a division of World Vision, “humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.” Knit for Kids has united knitters and crocheters from around the world to knit sweaters, blankets, caps, and mittens for children in need all around the world.
Beautifully written from their website:
“With every stitch, together we give hope and warmth to vulnerable children living in poverty or other difficult situations around the globe. For millions of children, a hand-made item isn’t just a sweater or a blanket. It’s a chance at better health. It’s protection and warmth from freezing temperatures. And it’s a symbol of support for a better future.”
Donating items for Knit for Kids is simple: click here to download one of their patterns then start knitting or crocheting. After finishing your item, mail it to the following address:
Knit for Kids
c/o World Vision
210 Overlook Drive
Sewickley, PA 15143
Visit their website for more information.
The Binky Patrol
A Binky is “a homemade blanket that can be sewn, knitted, crocheted or quilted. They range in size from 3 feet square up to twin bed size.” Susan Finch started The Binky Patrol in 1996 with just 5 volunteers to make binkies in order to bring comfort to children in need. Today it has grown to over 160 chapters around the country making thousands of binkies.
To make items for the Binky Patrol, pick the type of blanket you would like to make following a suggested pattern on the Binky Patrol website. You can either find a local chapter to donate your binkies or mail them to the Binky Patrol Headquarters.
Susan Finch, Founder
PO Box 652
Beaverton, OR 97005
Emily’s Hats for Hope
Emily’s Hat for Hope was started in 2011 by 17-year-old Emily. She wanted to help the homeless and working poor in her hometown by making knitted hats for them. Her organization has grown with chapters popping up all over the country. Her vision is to have a local chapter of Emily’s Hat for Hope in every state in the country. Emily’s Hat for Hope has collected over 24,000 winter hats with a goal of donating 50,000 hats by 2021.
To donate to Emily’s Hat for Hope, you can find a local chapter near you. You can also connect with them on Facebook.
UPDATED 2/12/19: Emily’s Hats for Hope no longer has an online presence. The website and FB pages that were initially referenced are no longer live.
The mission of Operation Gratitude is to “seek to lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of the U.S. Military and First Responder communities and provide volunteer opportunities for Americans to express their appreciation to all who serve our nation”. Operation Gratitude is seeking volunteers to make Paracord Survival bracelets. Each year, the ship about 100,000 bracelets to deployed servicemen around the world. The paracord bracelets are 7.5 feet of string that can be used during an emergency. The paracord bracelets they can be used, for example, as a splint, a harness to help remove someone from a situation, or securing a camouflage net from a tree. But most importantly, the bracelets are a reminder to the servicemen that there are people who care and appreciate them for all they do.
You can find the instructions for the Paracord bracelets here.
Once you finish your paracord bracelets, mail your donations with an Operation Gratitude Donation From to:
21100 Lassen Street
Chatsworth, CA 91311
Pick Any Project And Create To Donate
Any one of these organizations is a wonderful choice. If you have the time, why not try making something new and donating items to two organizations in this group!
About Sitinee Sheffert
Sitinee Sheffert is a wife, mom of four, and the founder of Giving Artfully and Giving Artfully Kids. Her passion for crafting and helping others led her to build the website, Giving Artfully, to connect crafters with volunteer opportunities and then Giving Artfully Kids, a curriculum that teaches children about kindness and giving through crafting.