I love being able to use my craft to give back. The way I see it is I’ve been blessed with some crafty talent that I am fortunate enough to be able to make money with, and I can use that craft to make things for those who need a little hope and love in their lives.
So for 2015, I’ve decided that each month I will select either a charity or a location that I will make handmade items to donate to. After this month, I will share my choice with everyone and encourage those who are able to also do the same….whether you donate to my selected choice or a local one of your choosing, this would be a great way for all of us crafters to be able to use our craft for more than just profit.
January’s selection is extra personal for me, so I did this one without telling anyone or asking anyone to join in. January is my birth month, but it wasn’t supposed to be. I was born 2 months premature and had to spend a while in a NICU. So for January, I started making a bunch of knit hats to donate to a hospital with a NICU. After I got started on this, I stumbled upon Sunset Crochet who had started up a 2014 NICU Charity Challenge, so I joined in the thousands of participants since I was already in the process of doing my own challenge. After I made a bunch of hats, I decided it might be nice to include other things that preemies and their parents might enjoy – such as a blanket for the isolette/incubator their precious little will have to stay in for a while. Then I stumbled on an adorable pattern for preemie cardigans, so I decided to make a few of those as well. In the process of doing all of this, I decided I would call this part of my grateful giving campaign “Love for the Littles.” I will continue this one all year long, but January (and maybe other months) will have a specific focus on the preemies. If you’d like to see some of the things I’ve made for this, search #loveforthelittles on Instagram (all but a couple of the photos are mine).
I’m still working on choosing all my organizations, but among some of the ones I’ve already chosen for this year are: Give a Little Hope, St Jude’s, a local chapter of Crochet for Cancer, Akron Children’s Hospital, Autism Society, Autism Speaks, Kentucky Children’s Hospital, and Kosair Children’s Hospital. I’m also searching for a way to give back to our military, but I’ve not found what I’m looking for just yet. I’m still working on most of the details and getting giving information so I can provide good guidelines for giving. Even if you don’t choose one of my selected organizations, I encourage you to find a way to use your craft to give back in some way. If you’re not crafty and would like to still participate, all of these organizations take monetary donations, and I will also be setting up a way for y’all to donate to me if you’re so inclined (this would include sending yarn, donating money towards shipping costs or yarn purchasing, etc). I will get that set up after I dive into the giving guidelines for selected organizations because many of them will have very specific guidelines (such as cancer hats – they need to be made with specific materials to keep from irritating a cancer patient’s skin). 99% of my donating will be handmade items, but in cases where that isn’t possible (perhaps the selected organization doesn’t take handmade items), I will be setting up a specific handmade item to sell and all proceeds would be donated to the selected organization.
February’s organization will be Give a Little Hope. This organization provides help to families affected by cancer. I will be making hats and coffee sleeves for their Hope Totes. I encourage you to find a cancer-related charity you can donate to or contact me to find out how you can send your donations to me to send to Give a Little Hope. I will write another post with more information soon.
April’s organization will be one of the autism charities. They do not take handmade items, so I will be creating a specific item and all proceeds will be donated. One of my daughters is autistic, so this one is another extra personal one, and since April is National Autism Awareness Month, I want to be able to give to the organizations that help parents and children touched by autism. So mark this one down on your calendar 🙂