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.
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.
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.
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.
Photo via Craftsy member stitchingtimes
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:
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.
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.
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!
Photo via Craftsy member WoolnHook
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!