Giving Back: 7 Ways to Knit and Crochet for Charity

You’re a creative and passionate person, why not use your talents to give back to the community! There are so many benefits to donating your knitting and crochet work to charity. Aside from helping others in need, it also gives knitters and crocheters a chance to be more involved by discovering new volunteer opportunities.

Crocheting and knitting for charity is also a great time to learn a new skill. Whether you’re planning to crochet a blanket or knit a hat, you can find a pattern that challenges you, freeing two birds with one key by learning a new skill while simultaneously helping someone in need. Here are 7 ways you can use your crocheting or knitting to make the world a better place.

Slip stitch knit afghan on Craftsy.com

Go national

Project Linus

Probably one of the most famous yarn craft charities, Project Linus, provides blankets to children in need. Simply search their database to find the closest place to drop off your donated blanket.

You can easily modify slip-stitch afghan patterns, like the one seen above,

Want to try out some new skills for your donated blanket? Check out Crafty’s My First Slip-Stitch Afghan class with Rhonda Fargnoli and make a child-size version of the slip-stitch afghan pictured above. It’s simple to create a custom size since the blocks are all knitted separately and then seamed together. These knitted baby blanket patterns are also a great place to look for inspiration.

Get more info on Project Linus.

Warm Up America!

Warm Up America! distributes afghans to all kinds of charities, from homeless shelters to women’s shelters, hospitals and nursing homes. The great thing about Warm Up America! is that you don’t have to knit or crochet an entire afghan on your own. You can knit or crochet as many 7″ x 9″ rectangles as you can, then send them to Warm Up America! to be joined with other rectangles into an afghan. Their website provides knit and crochet patterns to help you with your rectangles, or you can improvise and design your own.

Get more info on Warm Up America!

The Red Scarf Project

Each year, The Red Scarf Project sends Valentine’s Day care packages to foster students in need of encouragement as they graduate from high school and move on to college. Nothing shows someone you care like a handmade item, even if that someone is a stranger. See the red scarf guidelines and start knitting or crocheting a scarf for the next cycle of care packages, then browse Craftsy’s knitted neckwear and crocheted neckwear patterns to find one you’d like to make.

Get more info on the Red Scarf Project.

Chunky ribbed scarf - Craftsy.com Photo via Craftsy member stitchingtimes

Go local

National organizations are a great option for donating, but how about focusing your charity work in your own town?

Here’s a few a local organizations that would be happy to benefit from your knit or crochet talents:

Homeless shelters

Blankets, scarves, hats — homeless shelters are especially looking for donations during the freezing winter months. Your donation doesn’t have to be fancy. Patterns like the Chunky Ribbed Scarf pictured above are perfect because they’re cozy and warm.

Not sure where to donate? Calling your local Salvation Army is a good place to start.

Women’s shelters

A lot of local women’s shelters seek volunteers to help residents learn to knit or crochet. Like homeless shelters, they’re also looking for donations. Contact a shelter in your area to find out what types of items they’re in need of.

Youth organizations

At-risk youth can really benefit from not only learning new skills like knitting or crocheting but also from a caring volunteer who wants to spend time with them. Some schools have after-school groups that are in need of volunteers to teach kids how to knit or crochet. Bring some of your favorite projects along to motivate them and show them how awesome knitting and crocheting can be!

Looking for a fun, FREE resource to use to teach others how to crochet? Download The Beginner’s Guide to Crochet, which features beautiful step-by-step photo tutorials on how to crochet a chain, how to single crochet and how to double crochet, and also features a handy guide to crochet abbreviations.

Shabby chic granny square throwPhoto via Craftsy member WoolnHook

Nursing homes

Volunteering at the nursing home can include many knit and crochet activities, from teaching able residents to knit to simply donating items like afghans.

You could even choose a pattern like the Shabby Chic Granny Square Throw pictured above and collaborate with a resident, each of you knitting or crocheting squares that you can join together into one blanket. The time you spend with them is just as valuable as the skills you can teach them.

Check out these 5 beginner-friendly knit afghans. They’re perfect for donating!

When in doubt, just donate!

You may not even have to start a new project to donate to charity. If you’ve been knitting or crocheting for years, it’s likely you have more than a few extra projects hanging around that you don’t use anymore. Whether it’s a blanket or way too many beginner scarves, donate those and give them to someone who really needs them.

If you’re not sure where to start volunteering locally, try Lion Brand Yarn’s charity finder. Simply type in your zip code and get a list of charities that need your help.

There are countless opportunities for charitable knitting and crochet — so many, in fact, that it’s impossible to list them all!

How do you donate your knitting and crochet skills to the community?

10 Comments

Leonor Murcia

We will like to know what project can we start and qualifications needed for donating hats, blanket, scarft etc. for a group of retired ladies willing to work for charity

Reply
Mary Graham

Also newborn hats and booties for you local hospital.

Reply
vanessa

What a great idea…..do you just pick your local hospital and take then? Do you have a group….how would I get a group like that started

Reply
jennifer

I would like to knit some items to send to St Jude’s hospital and saw that you had done this in the past. I assume they are still I need and wondered what I should work on…hats? Wrist warmers? And what sizes (or a variety)? Any other guidelines that you followed when you did this in the past?

Reply
jade Franz

Hi I have made a few tiny baby blankets this year was wondering if I can send them overseas I don’t know where I send to from my local post office.

Reply
Leonor Murcia

We have 200 flannel blankets for babys, where can I take them , Hoag Hospital does not wanted as well as ST. Jude, they have not see them, they are very cute, they are call the Warm Hearts because of the heart in the blanket

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doly ballog

FOR THE PAST 5 YEARS I HAVE BEEN CROCHETING OUTFITS AND BLANKETS FOR BABIES BORN ASLEEP ,I LOVE WHAT DO BUTI FIND IT GETS HARD TP PURCHASE YARN I AM A WIDOW AD DODNT HAVE MUCH MONEY TO LIVE ON …..IS THERE A PLACE THAT HELPS WITH FREE YARN ,,,I WOULD BE SO VERY HAPPY TO CONTINUE MY DONATIONS FOR MY BABY ANGELS THANK YOU
9275 n.church ,#209 parma, ohio
441

Reply
beryl

Hi we are 10 ladies that are interested in helping with knitting, do u supply the yarn and we do the knitting for you in a project with a deadline to be done. Its elderly people who wants to do something to keep them busy. Plse let me know soon.

Reply

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