What may look to you like odds and ends in your yarn stash, could be used to keep countless people around the world warm during winter, give preemie (premature) babies in the NICU something to cuddle, and even help animals affected by wild fires and poaching, and abusive people.
Giving back to the community is not only heartwarming, but can make a bigger change in someone or a family’s life than you could ever have imagined.
You may be wondering where you can jump in and find a charity that needs your skills. The good news is that loads of charities need volunteers to make knitted and crocheted garments, accessories, and blankets for the people they serve.
Many charities also accept knitting needles, crochet hooks, and yarn odds to teach people how to knit and crochet and, in doing so, earn a living for themselves and their families.
What type of cause is close to your heart?
When deciding on a charity to support, it’s always good to first ask yourself what cause is close to heart. This is because you’ll be spending a lot of time making the items and it’s much nicer to make something with love rather than just trying to get it over with.
You can even think of a difficult time in your own life when you received an unexpected gift that made everything seem a bit less dark.
Perhaps you can be that person for someone else!
Some of the places that may need knitted and crocheted items, include:
- Schools and colleges
- Hospitals - especially baby items and items for cancer patients
- Places of worship; like churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples
- Retirement homes
- Homeless shelters
- Places of safety for children and victims of domestic violence
- Animal shelters
- Animal rehabilitation centers
Some ideas for charity makes
- Hats and beanies for all ages
- Preemie baby beanies
- Chemo beanies for cancer patients
- Scarves for all ages, shawls, prayer shawls, and wraps
- Lapghans, baby blankets, full-sized blankets/afghans
- Blocks of knitted or crocheted fabric to make blankets from
- Baby clothes and bibs
- Preemie baby clothes
- Angel children burial outfits
- Winter garments for all ages
- Socks, gloves, and mittens
- Preemie baby octopus toys
- Blankets and toys for pets and wildlife in rehabilitation
- Toys for babies and children
Many places will also welcome knitting and crochet supplies or even volunteering some time to teach others how to knit online or in person.
How to find a charity that needs your help
Thanks to the internet it’s easier than ever to find calls from people or charities that need help.
A great place to start looking, is Facebook Groups. Many times the most up-to-date info on the charitable organizations can be found on a Facebook Group’s page and not on a website.
Because there are so many local groups on Facebook, it’s quite easy to ask the people on that group if they know of any need in your town or city that you can help address with your knitting or crochet skills.
Try searching for the type of charity that you’re looking for as well as your town, city, or state name. This should also give you a good idea of the need in your area.
You can also have a look on other social media channels like Instagram an Twitter.
Charities KnitPal supports, that you can support as well
When KnitPal started, we made it a mission to give back to the community and that’s why we donate a portion of our profits and support charities that knit for others. In doing so, our donations have helped to knit stuffed animals and blankets for children in crisis and people with special needs.
Here are some of the places that we help - and that you may want to help as well or that will give you some ideas.
Happy Children of Pine Ridge Reservation
Located in South Dakota, the Pine Ridge Reservation is home to the Oglala Sioux Tribe - an estimated population of 40,000. Unfortunately, poverty is rife within this region. Our supplies are used to teach girls and boys how to knit; a skill to last a lifetime!
Gateway Steps to Recovery
The Gateway Steps to Recovery is a non-profit that delivers effective treatment and recovery services to help people suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction, and related mental health issues.
Patients are taught to knit and crochet with our supplies and make hats and blankets that is then donated to local charities and hospitals.
Fort Vancouver Knitting Guild
The Vancouver Knitting Guild in Washington is also paying it forward with our donated supplies, as they make a wide variety of garments and blankets for hospitals, veterans, sailors, and more. They also teach 4th-6th graders from disadvantaged areas how to knit.