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Crafting For A Cause: Impactful Making

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Over the course of the last four weeks, we have covered a variety of topics regarding crafter wellness; from our innermost thoughts and feelings to our physical aches and pains to our relationships with others. There has been one element that has remained constant throughout, however, and that is the idea of connection. Connection improves our mental, emotional and even physical health, but ultimately it ensures our social well-being.

Crafting with others creates a form of connection that builds our interpersonal skills and expands our social circles. It fills our social tanks and boosts our moods. Crafting for others takes us outside of ourselves and connects us to the wider world. It gives our work purpose, meaning and requires empathy. We step into someone else’s shoes and our concern becomes not our own well-being, but theirs.

No matter what we may be facing, by grounding ourselves with a cause, we are recognizing that there are others that are being challenged too, and we can be grateful - even for a moment - that we can do something to help. We can’t take away pain or change circumstances, and we may feel like we’re providing something that may seem small or relatively insignificant, but it is a gift of hope and a reminder that someone cares. By giving of our time and talent, we are not only providing a tangible gift, but also shifting our hearts and minds to an open and connected perspective.

Initially, it might sound selfish to seek improvement for our own well-being by crafting for others, but by accepting the benefits we receive, we are that much stronger and healthier with a greater capacity to serve.

There are innumerable ways to get involved, so consider the list below a sampling of the types of organizations and opportunities that exist. (Descriptions of the organizations are shared from their websites. Click the links to learn more about these causes!)

  • Knit Michigan - Knit Michigan is an independent organization dedicated to supporting cancer patients and their families by making, collection and donating comfort items such as chemo caps and lap blankets to cancer patients.

  • Mittens for Detroit - Mittens for Detroit, Inc. collects, purchases, and distributes new mittens and gloves to children, teens, and adults in need in Detroit, Michigan, and other underserved cities.

  • Love Squared - Love Squared’s ultimate goal is to provide afghans to homeless children all over the country.

  • Salvation Knitters - The ideal behind Salvation Knitters is to provide needed items for homeless and low-income expectant mothers, new mothers, and their babies.

  • Knitted Knockers - Knitted Knockers are special handmade breast prosthesis for women who have undergone mastectomies or other procedures to the breast. The organization works to connect volunteer knitters and crocheters with breast cancer survivors to offer free Knitted Knockers to any woman who wants them.

  • Knit for Kids - Knit for Kids is a nationwide program that unites thousands of volunteer knitters to fight poverty with our knitting needles. With every stitch, together we give hope and warmth to vulnerable children living in poverty or other difficult situations around the globe. 

  • Warm Up America - Warm Up America is committed to motivating, training and coordinating volunteers to knit and crochet afghans and clothing for people in need.

  • Mother Bear Project - The Mother Bear Project is dedicated to providing comfort and hope to children affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations, by giving them a gift of love in the form of a hand-knit or crocheted bear.

  • Red Scarf Project - The Red Scarf Project is part of the nonprofit Foster Care to Success, an organization that supports children after they have aged out of foster care by offering resource and emergency funds.

  • Project Knitwell - Project Knitwell in the Washington, DC area offers knitting as a tool to promote wellness and help people cope with stressful situations at more than a dozen hospital and community settings.

Other Organizations
  • Local hospitals often accept handmade items including chemo caps, lap blankets, prayer shawls, and baby hats. Many are also using crocheted, stuffed octopus dolls to comfort premature babies! 

  • Homeless shelters and support organizations often accept soap sacks, hats, socks and blankets.

  • After the unthinkable devastation in Australia due to wildfires, people were donating handmade nests to rehabilitation centers for birds and other displaced critters! Check with your local animal shelters to see if they have or know of any needs!

This aspect of the craft community is very important to us, and if you have causes or stories you want to share, please send them our way! Also, if we aren’t your local yarn shop - thanks for visiting! - many shops assist local organizations or act as collection sites for causes, so you may want to check in with your LYS too!

Sources
8 Ways to Knit or Crochet for Charity
Knitting for Charity 
Losing Mom: Knitting Through Grief 

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