Quilting Blog

Quilting for Good: Where to Donate Handmade Quilts

We know the Craftsy community is filled with generous, creative makers who not only love the joy of making crafts, but also giving them away to others in need.
If you've been wondering where to donate quilts you've made for charity, look no further. We've rounded up a list of charitable organizations that are happy to receive your handmade quilts to pass along to kids and adults who could use a gift made with love.

Handmade Quilt
Photo via Lindsay Sews

National organizations accepting quilts

For kids

Project Linus is one of the most well-known charity groups for quilters. Quilters donate handmade blankets to children in need via local chapters. The group has donated more than 6 million quilts since 1995!

Quilts from Caring Hands, based in Oregon, accepts completed quilts for kids as well as fabric, blocks, completed quilt tops. The group seeks to serve at-risk youth and prefers twin-size (60" x 80") and crib-size (40" x 50") quilts.

Quilts for Kids seeks to donate 30,000 quilts annually to comfort children who have been abused, children with life-threatening illnesses and children living in poverty. The group accepts new fabric, completed quilts and financial support for completing quilts.

For veterans

Quilts of Valor, which formed in 2003, accepts quilt tops and works with volunteer longarm quilters interested in serving their cause. If you want to support servicemen and servicewomen returning home from active duty, consider making a quilt in patriotic colors. Guildelines can be found on their website.

Quilted in Honor hosts quilt challenges and collects donations of finished quilts at any of their 24 Operation Homefront field offices across the U.S. The group gives quilts away to military families in need and wounded warriors. (Quilts made for the Quilted In Honor program can also be donated to Quilts of Valor, as long as they meet the size and labeling requirements.)

More places to donate quilts

The Quilt Giving, Inc., presents quilts that provide comfort to children and adults, and works to increase public awareness with a biennial public quilt exhibit and presentation ceremony. Recipients include children's hospitals and advocacy groups as well as wounded veterans.

Quilts Beyond Borders was established in 2007 to reach out to under-served children, mainly orphans, across the world. The group has delivered more than 1,000 handmade quilts to Ethiopia and has also provided quilts to people in need in Japan, Haiti, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Cameroon, Burundi, Uganda, Russia, Thailand and Mexico.

Donate Quilts
Photo via Lindsay Sews; Block pattern via Stitchery Dickory Dock

Local places to donate quilts

In addition to these national organizations, we encourage you to look around locally for places to donate your quilts. Here are some ideas to get you started!

  • Quilt guilds often support local charities by distributing finished quilts to those in need.
  • Hospitals often accept handmade items that fit their donation requirements.
  • Senior centers and nursing homes may accept handmade quilts.
  • Homeless shelters and family violence organizations often collect quilts for their residents.
  • Orphanages, both locally and abroad, are a good place to contact.
  • Churches connected with local ministries may know where to donate your quilts.
  • Animal shelters sometimes accept small quilts and blankets to comfort pets.
Quilting for charity

Remember that making and donating quilts is a fun way to engage your sewing community. Start a local quilt drive or join forces with one of the organizations listed above, and get together with local quilters to discuss ideas, sew quilt blocks and finish quilt tops together. Share your love of sewing with others around you, and you'll be surprised how full your heart feels!

9 Comments

Michelle Soares

The American Legion Auxiliary is another organization that donates quilts and afghans to mostly hospitalized veterans. You can donate within your own community. Just find an American Legion, make contact and voila! you have given comfort and warmth to someone that has served our country and is hospitalized for one reason or another. What a great feeling!!

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Jeane Bosse

Another Charity is A Quilt for Mother’s Tears. These quilts are made for mothers of police officers killed in the line of duty. Begun by an Indiana mother who lost her son who was responding to a domestic dispute. Because mothers are not recognized these quilts provide comfort to them.

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Christine Knox

I began a quilt project in 2008 for those stricken with Mitochondrial Disease. The project is called Mito Quilts of Hope. http://www.mitoquiltsofhope.org. Mitochondrial Disease is often genetic and it is caused by a mutation in mitochondria. Mitochondria are tiny organelles that are responsible for producing 90% of the energy needed for cellular and organ health. When this system is compromised cell death and organ failure can occur. Adults and children are stricken by this disease at a rate of 1:4500.

Mito Quilts of Hope purpose is twofold, to raise awareness of Mitochondrial Disease both in the giving of quilts and their distinct color. Mito Quilts are primarily green, the color designated for rare diseases. We also like to include other distinctive features such as awareness ribbons, or words such as mito, hope, cure. We request lap size quilts with a matching pillow/bag or a quillow is another option.

I hope some of you may consider this as another worthy charity to donate too. if you have any questions you can reach me through the website.
Christine

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Christine Knox

Forgot to say the other purpose for Mito Quilts of Hope is to give comfort to those with the disease. One feature of the disease is that individuals have difficulty maintaining normal body temperature. As we all know a quilt can make a huge difference both physically and mentally. It is a huge boost to patients morale when they realize that someone has actually not only heard about Mito but has made a quilt especially for them, it makes them feel heard and seen.

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Annabelle Hammer

Thank you for mentioning Project Linus. I volunteer for my county’s chapter in Northern Virginia (outside of Washington DC). Not only do I make quilts, but I pick up from schools or individuals blankets and afghans, and distribute them to homeless shelters and medical clinics. Other volunteers distribute blankets to local hospitals. When I retired a few months ago, I thought long and hard about a charity which would combine community service with my love of quilting, and PL fit the bill. I have met many generous ladies and students through PL.

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Carla Triemer

Thank you so much for including Quilts Beyond Borders in your wonderful article. Our charity has now given more than 7000 quilts to more than 27 countries (including the US) on four continents — so far. The children who receive our quilts include orphans, needy children, children living in shelters, children who are refugees from war, and children who have been affected by serious illnesses like HIV/AIDS. In some cases the children who receive our quilts own nothing except the clothes on their backs, so a quilt of their own is a special gift that they will cherish.

We are a group of volunteers, with no paid staff, so we work with charities and churches to get our quilts to children who need them in countries around the world. If you’re interested in learning more about us, please see our blog at:
https://quiltsbeyondborders.wordpress.com/

Thanks!

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Jean BensonThompson

How about donating to a Local Hospice in your area.. Call and see what they need.. also to local organizations that make New Baby layette sets for near by Hospitals..
Children’s Receiving Homes for those who have to leave during the night from abusive situations.. churches who have Clothing Banks/free clothing …

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Debbie Henderson

When my friends and I retired from teaching we missed working together. I’m a quilter and have more fabric than I will ever be able to use up so I started putting 2 and 2 together (Yes, I was a First Grade teacher!) and came up with a way to answer both needs. I contacted the local Project Linus coordinator and she asked us to make 45 x 45 quilts for grade school age kids (Perfect, we taught Kindergarten through 4th grade so that age group was near and dear to our hearts.). Each Spring when the snowbirds return home we hold a two day event in a local church hall and make quilts. We start a couple months in advance when a friend and I cut 6″ squares in all different patterns and colors. We also started cutting backs and batting to the required 45″ squares. A teacher (turned florist) sorts and counts out all the squares into sets and puts them in baggies, 1 bag = squares for one quilt. Friends that want to support our cause monetarily help to buy solids, thread, batting, and string for tying. The first day the sew-ers bring their machines, grab baggies, and start making tops all day. The non-sewers iron for us as we finish each row. On day 2 the ironers help with pinning, hand-sewing, and tying quilts. The sew-ers do the rest of the machine stitching and finishing. (Many take home extra baggies, the pre-cut batting and backing to make more at home. One person takes a few home to work on with her 10 year old granddaughter.) I got labels so a month later a small group of us do quality control and sew labels on as they pass inspection! From there I wash them all and hang them on the lines to dry. They are so pretty out there, like a garden of colors and designs. By the way, we have potluck lunch like we used to have occasionally at school. My son takes the bags of quilts to the local chapter coordinator since heworks nearby. Each year retired teachers from other schools, retiree spouses, church members, and friends join us so all totaled we have about 40-50 people contributing their time or money. To date we have donated approximately 250 quilts for children in local hospitals, a safe house, sheriffs carry them in their patrol cars, and the Red Cross (to name just a few) . And, we had FUN catching up and working together again!
One year local students needed to perform a service project and I had read that a camp for the children of deployed veterans needed fleece blankets. Once again friends and relatives helped out with the cost of the fleece. My aunt (the mother of a deployed serviceman) paid the postage from NY to Texas. The students completed their service hours and learned a new skill at that. We sent 20 fleeced blankets to them.
If anyone needs help organizing a Quilt Day, contact me and I’ll share some tips and pitfalls along the way.

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Krystal Paylor

I am a volunteer with a non profit, National Alliance for Law Enforcement Support, formerly Wives Behind the Badge. We are dedicated to providing resources and emotional support to law enforcement officers and their families, and serving as a positive voice for law enforcement in the community. Our Blue Line Kids HALOS program provides a quilt to comfort the minor children of officers who have fallen in the line of duty. BLK HALOS is in need of quilters to donate new lap or twin size quilts to this program. Email secretary@nalestough.org

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