Thursday, October 08, 2009

Charitable Crafting

(crossposted at BlogHer)

As the seasons begin to shift toward autumn, I starting more about giving -and especially charitable giving. Money for food banks for holiday meals, home-made biscuits for the animal shelters, and crafts for whichever charities can use them. Sewing, quilting, crochet, and knitting are the key crafts where charitable appeals are aimed.

With limited time, what are some of the charities that looking for charitable crafting?

Softies for Mirabel is an Australian crafting appeal to collect as many softies as they can before December 10th to donate to the Mirabel Foundation- an organization which assists children left without parents due to parental illicit drug use and are now being cared for by extended family. The toy collection is organized by Meet Me At Mike's. You can see some of the softies already donated by checking the Flickr Group.

Need inspiration for a softie to construct? Jodie at RicRac designed these adorable softies- one which reminds me a lot of a nutcracker toy soldier- in less than an hour. She offers the toy soldier pattern as a PDF download at Scribd.

Additionally, One Red Robin's Jhoanna MonteAranez made up an adorable Oh-Oh the Owl Softie and offers the pattern for free so you can make up a couple for toy give-aways.

Can you make a square?

Around the world from the Australian Toy drive, is Knit a Square to be used for AIDS orphans in Africa. Sandy Zanny's aunt lives in Africa and works with the Soweto Comfort Club to "collect, sort, bundle and join the squares into blankets and then distribute them to groups of children, greatly in need." If you take the short time to sort through your remnant yarn from completed projects -you can quickly knit or crochet an 8" square and mail it off. Heck, mail off a few.

These women are assembling the squares they receive into comforting blankets, hats, and overvests to give the children orphaned to AIDS. With a goal of 5000 blankets this year-this group needs donations of nearly 138,000 squares. Can you spare one evening or weekend of crafting to help? All the information you need can be found at the website.

Quilting and Sewing for a Cause

Charitable crafting takes place in the US, too. CraftSanity's Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood recently pointed out Margaret's Hope Chest, a Michigan-based charity that aims to make and distribute 400 quilts to homeless children living in shelters over this Christmas holiday.

And CRAFT HOPE has taken on crafting projects of all kinds. Their latest was to donate 225 sock monkeys to a Preschool Burn Camp. Each and every sock monkey is unique!

Ofcourse one of the long-running charitable craft projects is Project Linus.

Project Linus is comprised of hundreds of local chapters and thousands of volunteers across the United States. Each volunteer and local chapter all work together to help us achieve our mission statement, which states:

First, it is our mission 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.”

Second, it is our mission to provide a rewarding and fun service opportunity for interested individuals and groups in local communities, for the benefit of children.

Together we have distributed over three million blankets to children in need since our inception in 1995.

But perhaps you are moving on from one crafting adventure to another, or simply cleaning house and willing to give some of your stash to others to use in charitable crafting. Crafting a Green World wrote a great list of suggestions on places to donate craft supplies for charity. Check it out.

I also blog at: Weight for Deb and BlogHer on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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