Aug 24, 2010

Six Ways To Donate Your Finished Knits

No matter your knitting productivity levels {how fast you knit, how many finished knits you produce in a year}, as a knitter you will quickly hit a point where knits are taking over your home.

Whether you’re a sock knitter or a sweater knitter, you will run out of time to wear all your gorgeous hand-knits, and your friends and family will start to look less and less excited when you gift them another pair of mittens. charity-knits-200x300.jpg

When this happens, it’s time to start donating your hand-knits to charity!

While I tend to donate the large majority of what I make, even sending one or two items to someone in need can make a huge difference in a person’s life.

If you’re brand new to charity knitting however, it can feel overwhelming to begin. How can you knit something for charity if you don’t know where to send it?!

Here’s a list of some great places to donate your finished hand-knits, along with some of the items they most like to collect, so you can start to focus your knitting towards charity a bit!

1. Wool-Aid. This international organization is “a community of knitters and crocheters who create warm woolen garments for children who live in the coldest climates and have the least access to resources.” The focus here is on kids, regardless of race, ethnicity or religion, living in some of the poorest and most remote areas of the world. Per Wool-Aid guidelines, please use wool, and knit items that will be bulky and warm, as they are going to some of the harshest climates on the planet. The need is greater for children ages 10-16, but items are collected for children of all ages.

2. Donate to your local hospital. Most hospitals gladly accept donations of handmade items for their NICU and PICU areas. The hardest part here is finding a contact – in my case I simply walked into the hospital and up to the NICU and asked who I would talk to about donating some items! Be sure all hand-knits are made with acrylic and/or cotton yarn – wool is not useable here, as items will be washed by the hospital and must be made out of items that are hypoallergenic. Your hospital may have specific needs, but hats, booties, and blankets are a great place to start!

3. Afghans for Afghans. This international organization donates “hand-knit and crocheted blankets and sweaters, vests, hats, mittens, and socks to the beleaguered people of Afghanistan.” This organization works on a campaign-by-campaign basis, so you’ll want to check in regularly or even sign up for e-mail updates so you can be knitting what is most needed!

4. Project Linus. The goal of this organization is “to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer ‘blanketeers.’” Blankets can be knit, crochet, sewn, quilted and fleece tied styles. They must be new, handmade, and washable.

5. Local animal shelter. Shelters around the world are in need of everything from blankets to toys to winter sweaters for the animals they house. Your best bet is to contact your local shelter and ask what they’re collecting. And make sure you use yarn that’s washer/dryer friendly!

6. The Ghana Project. This amazing organization collects squares to be sewn into afghans that are then given to children undergoing surgery in various parts of Africa. All squares must measure7x7 inches, made of acrylic, and can be knit or crochet. As of July 2010 they have donated over 250 blankets!

There are thousands of organizations around the world that collect hand-knits to distribute; these are simply seven options I have used with regularity in the past. A quick Google search will reveal tons more – perfect if you’re looking for a specific way to donate. No matter what, every knitter should take some time out of each year to knit something for donation though. We knitters are already a generous bunch, and this is just one way to show it!

What are some other charities you send your finished knits to? Add them to the comment section so we can have a larger list!

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