We as a group of women are widows, retired, seniors, disabled or people who just want to help Keeping Kids Warm in any way we can. I have found that a lot of these ladies just want to still feel needed and useful.
When I started this group back in 2003 I never thought that some of these ladies would actually become close friends. When I started this charity to help our homeless teens I did it as a memorial to my own mother and grandmother. My mom passed away at the age of 50. I was then 32 and the oldest of 10 children.
Unable to properly grieve for my own mom, I did so when my maternal grandmother passed. My grief was so overwhelming that I grieved for both, realizing that this is not what either of them would have wanted me to do. So, I got hopeful and started Keeping Kids Warm. KKW provides knitted warm clothing items to homeless teens.
With my journey started now I try and get others like myself who enjoyed knitting and wanted to feel useful. We have been able to distribute over 10,000 items and still going to our homeless youth in our community. Its a wonderful feeling for all of us to know that we have helped so many.
It has now been 8 years and we are going strong. Keeping it going has been a struggle but with yarn donations and our wonderful volunteers and some small monetary donations, we are still active and always looking for more people to help. We have just recently been given space to store supplies and run a small office. We are so grateful for this.
Keeping Kids Warm is a small not-for-profit charity and we will continue for as long as we are able.
Homeless youth are in dire need of help… One Stitch At A Time
Knits for Needs is a knit and crochet charity created by Meridith Zelaya in January of 2009. Meridith, like many of us, saw many of our neighbors in need of items to help keep them warm. Although unlike many of us Meridith took action to help address the situation. She organized the charity Knit for Needs. Since being founded earlier this year, Knit for Needs has really delivered on its promise of helping people. Knit for Needs has donated almost four hundred knitted and crocheted items to people in need!
Knits for Needs, based in Atlanta Georgia, donate to people in need located all across the United States. Donations are made to the homeless, chemotherapy patients, prematurely born babies, our veterans, many hospital patients and basically anyone in need of warm stuff.
Members of Knits for Needs are spread throughout the world and communicate through the many internet outlets. Members connect using social networks like Facebook, Ravelry and Twitter. These networks help members not only communicate but also organize their collective efforts. We encouraged you to interact with the organization via any of the aforementioned social networks or through the Knit for Needs blog at http://knitsforneeds.blogspot.com/. We now proudly promote the Knit for Needs charity at our Naughty Knitterz Internet Knitting Circle.
Knits for Needs accepts all types of knitted and crocheted items. Once received the items are properly cleaned and then delivered directly to our neighbors in need of warm things made with love.
Knit for Needs can be reached by email address at firstname.lastname@example.org and the charity’s mailing address is: Knits for Needs, PO Box 551, Woodstock, GA 30188.
Join Naughty Knitterz in our support of Meridith’s giving spirit and the Knit for Needs charity!
Celebrate the U.N. International Year of Natural Fibres by helping raise $250,000 for Heifer International to build the world’s largest fiber flock.
Join in the fun of knitting the World’s Longest Scarf while helping raise money to fight poverty around the world. As part of the celebration of the International Year of Natural Fibers, Keep the Fleece in partnership with Heifer International is helping to organize teams around the world to knit sections of the World’s Longest Scarf that will all be joined together at the New York Sheep & Wool Festival Oct. 17-18, 2009.
During September and early October, The Woolpack will keep two scarves going, one knit and one crochet. We will donate all the yarn for the scarf. When you visit the shop, please consider working a row or two and adding your dollar(s) to our collection. We will be looking for volunteers to serve as our delegation to deliver them to the NY Sheep and Wool Festival for a formal presentation. Our team, The Woolpack Woolly Wonders is register on the www.keepthefleece.org website.
Keep the Fleece’s goal is to raise $250,000.00 that Heifer International will use to donate fleece-bearing animals of all kinds to needy families all around the world. Heifer not only donates the animals, but provides the necessary training so that the families can nurture and grow their herds and become self-sufficient. (For more information about Heifer, please visit their website, www.heifer.org.
Everyone who participates is asked to consider a donation of $1.00 per row knitted/crocheted or $10.00 per inch woven/felted. Keep the Fleece will collect the donations from the teams and pass it on to Heifer. Keep the Fleece is registered as a 501-c-3 charitable organization, and as such, contributions should be tax deductible.
Scarves must be 9 inches wide and each row of the scarf represents a $1 donation to Heifer. Team members can donate the money themselves or raise money from other. A donation of $120 is enough to buy one sheep at Heifer International, so at $10 per inch, a 5-foot scarf represents 5 sheep. It’s that easy to help ensure the sustainability of the fiber industry and the lives of those who are in greatest need.
It seems like only yesterday you picked up a pair of knitting needles for the first time. Maybe it was to finally make a scarf for a friend, or an adorable hat for a new babe. No matter why you picked up the needles, you feel like you’ve got the art of the Knit and the Purl under your belt, and you’re wondering what’s next.
Some are immediately drawn to the intricate color work in Fair Isle knitting, and some are all about the cuddly shapes and sizes of knitted toys. Myself, I was almost immediately drawn to charity knitting. For me, there was no better way to use my newfound skills than to help keep others warm. Whether it was knitting hats for preemies or lap blankets for the elderly, I found my charity knitting taking over my house.
It wasn’t for years that I figured out most knitters around me either don’t knit for charity, or had the desire but didn’t know where to donate. I realize now that my “jump in and see where you land” approach to charity knitting is not the normal path, with most knitters stymied either by the overwhelming needs around them or the lack of donation bins in their area.
What Do People Need?
For new knitters, the challenge can be even harder – still struggling through casting on, binding off, and knitting two together, it can seem too great a hurdle to go from making yourself a scarf to making something for a complete stranger. But have no fear – with a few simple steps you’ll be crafting away for others in no time!
If you’ve got the desire to knit for charity, your first step is to figure out what you like to knit the most. Do you find yourself knitting scarf after colorful scarf? Do your fingers fly around the needles when you cast on a hat? Whatever you love to knit, there’s a charity organization that needs it, I promise. And figuring out what you want to knit, what you love to knit, will make your charity knitting projects more fun. After all, who wants to plug away at a pair of socks when all they really want to be knitting is dish cloths?!
Where To Give
Once you’ve figured out what you want to donate, the trick is to get it to the people who need it most. Lucky for you, I’ve done some of the dirty work, and at the end of this article you’ll find a list of some of my favorite charities, and the items they take.
Looking to donate locally? Start flipping through your phone book! Send an e-mail (or stop by) your local hospital’s NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) and see if they take baby items. Call up a local nursing home or hospice to find out if they’d like some comfort afghans, lap blankets, snuggly caps or slippers. Foster care organizations, AIDS crisis centers, and even your local Humane Society are also great places to ask. In my experience, just about any non-profit organization will take handmade items of some sort – it’s all in matching up your items to the right charity!
Share The Love
Once you’ve gotten in touch with an organization that accepts hand knits, be sure to let others know. If you’ve got a blog, post pictures of the items you’ve made, and let others know where you’re donating them. Hop onto local community boards or attend knit nights at the local yarn shop to recruit other charity-minded people to help out!
Remember, not that long ago you were someone who wanted to help but didn’t know how – now that you’re “in the know”, sharing your expertise is the best way to get others involved.
A Few Places To Start
Want to fast-track your charity knitting? Here’s a few great organizations that are always looking for items. Be sure to head to their websites for specifics!
Warm Woolies – collecting items for orphans across the globe, this charity needs socks, sweaters, and vests made from 100% wool items for sizes from preemie to adult.
The Nest – this organization brings 100% animal fiber items to people struggling through cold winters in Maine.
The Ghana Project – collecting squares to be sewn into blankets for over a decade – the perfect way to use up all your acrylic remnants! These blankets go to children across Africa struggling through painful surgeries.
Homespun Helpers - this group of charity knitters congregates on the web, banding together to knit for a wide variety of charities.
Article author Robyn Devine is a 30-something newlywed who has focused her life on craft, sustainability, and changing the planet for good. Having been a crafter most of her life, it wasn’t until recently she discovered she could meld her love of handmades with her passion to help the world become a better place for all humans, instead of a place that seemed to work only for a privileged few.
She divides her free time between knitting and scrapbooking most days, is in a constant battle with all the clutter threatening to take over her house, and truly believes that with a bit of compassion, some wool, and a slice of pizza, the world could be a happier place for all! Enjoy Robyn’s blog: http://robyndevine.typepad.com