It seems there’s some serious stash-busting and craft-room-cleaning happening out there… We’ve fielded quite a few questions recently about where to donate knit or crocheted items, as well as where to donate extra yarn. There are so many generous people who want to give their time, talents, and extra yarn to others in need. As people who love making things with yarn, we know the joy of color and texture, and the magic of giving or receiving something made by hand. The generosity of fiber folks warms the heart – and also hands, heads and more!
If you’re looking for some great projects to make for others, generally downsizing your stash, or are in the mood to use up some old yarn to make room for new, the organizations below do a lot of good work with your handmade goods.
- Warm Up America – Warm handmade blankets, scarves, hats, and handmade baby clothes for neighbors in need. You can donate finished pieces or 7 x 9″ knit or crochet squares. Patterns and lesson plans are available on the website.
- Project Amigo – Knit squares for afghans to be distributed to families in rural Mexico. Details are here, plus a Free Pattern. Project Amigo also provides terrific community resources in Comala Mexico, with a focus on advancing educational opportunities for children in Colima. Get even more involved and Sponsor a Scholar, or take a “work week”, where volunteers help with arts and literacy programs while exploring and learning the culture of this beautiful region.
- Knitted Knockers – Knit and donate handmade prosthetic breasts for women who’ve had a mastectomy. More comfortable and affordable than silicone versions, and made with love. Over 8,000 have been donated, and more are needed!
- Knots of Love – Provides knitted and crocheted chemo caps, as well as tiny incubator blankets for ill or premature babies. Patterns, collection sites, and other great ways to help.
- The Red Scarf Project – A program of the Foster Care To Success organization, handmade red scarves are given to college students who are part of the foster care system. Knitters are encouraged to include a card and other small gifts. These practical scarves are a great way to let someone know they’re not alone and to share a little handmade warmth.
- Octo Project – What started in Denmark has become a worldwide phenomenon. Crocheted octopus have been found to comfort premature babies in incubators. The tentacles mimic the umbilical cord and help reassure preemies. Be sure to use premium cotton and do not add adornment that can be hazardous. Use the free pattern on the Danish site, and contact your local hospital to make donations.
- Project Linus – Provides handmade blankets to critically ill children. Free patterns available, and there are chapters and drop-off sites all over the country. Check the website for one close to you!
If you’ve got extra yarn, and no time to make a finished piece with it, your stash can still do lots of good! To find a spot where your extra yarns will be knitted, crocheted or woven into something wonderful start local! Many community centers, schools, and nursing homes welcome donations of yarn or other craft supplies. Always check first to see what they need, and make sure what you’re providing is in good, usable condition.
Do you have a favorite worthy cause that would benefit from yarn or handmade items? Know of an organization that could use yarn or handmade donations? Please let us all know in the comments, and thanks for sharing the yarn, and the love!