If you’ve got blankets, hats and scarves to spare, then there are plenty of people in need who would love these homemade items.
We’ve listed some of the most popular national charities below, but don’t forget to look locally for hospitals, shelters, churches, and other organizations that are eager for donations. Click here to see Lion Brand Yarnsís Charity Connection tool, which links you to groups near your zip code.
- Binky Patrol, http://www.binkypatrol.org/Binky Patrolís mission: to keep kids comforted while they go through traumatic times. Whether it’s an illness, disease, foster care, or another struggle, kids receive handmade blankets as a thoughtful gift so they feel just a little bit better. They can range in size from 2íx2í (for preemies) to twin-size, whatever you’d like to make, then just follow these instructions for mailing it in. On that page, you’ll also find patterns and other helpful info.
- Chemocaps, http://chemocaps.com/The mission here is simple: Knit hats to donate to your local hospital’s cancer treatment center. Infants, kids, and adults enjoy these comforting hats, and it means something special to get a handmade gift during a difficult time. The program is in memory of a young knitter who lost her battle with cancer, and the website features a special tag to sew onto hats so that hospitals know what charity the gift is coming from.
- Knit for Kids, http://www.worldvision.org/get-involved/knit-for-kids If you know how to knit sweaters, then consider making one for a child from around the world. Knit for Kids sends sweaters, infant caps, and blankets internationally to children in need, so they can stay warm and comfortable even in rough climates. You can download a pattern from the website, or use your own if you like.
- Newborns in Need, http://newbornsinneed.org/ After donating more than 500,000 items last year, Newborns in Need continues to take donations this year for baby booties, hats (including NICU), blankets, and toys. Booties, blankets, and toys are in higher demand, but anything is greatly appreciated and you can click here for some knitting patterns.
- Precious Pals, http://www.tkga.com/?page=PreciousPalsProgram Precious Pals sends out stuffed animals to police departments across the country, something that first responders and child agencies can use to help comfort children after a traumatic event. Simply purchase a stuffed animal from the store and then knit a sweater for the teddy bear or animal, then contact a local fire or police department about your donation, or mail your sweater-wearing stuffed animal to the address on the website.
- Project Linus, http://www.projectlinus.org/ Another charity dedicated to helping kids find a sense of comfort and security, Project Linus donates handmade blankets to children in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies, and elsewhere around the country. Once you’ve made your blanket, click here to find a local chapter where you can drop off your gift. Just make sure the blanket is brand-new and washable.
- The Ships Project, http://www.theshipsproject.com/ If you’re looking to support the troops, consider sending a hat or slippers through The Ships Project, which has been sending items overseas for more than a decade. Click here to read the specific item guidelines, which include directions for color and type of knitting.
- Snuggles Project, http://www.snugglesproject.org/ If you’re an animal lover, then consider donating to this charity. It accepts blankets, aka ‘snuggles’ to give to cats and dogs in shelters who might be frightened and scared. These blankets help comfort scared animals, and there are plenty of knit patterns on the website. Click here to see where you can donate these blankets, find your state and area code, and then see which shelters have the ‘snuggles’ kitten icon indicating they definitely accept donations (or call ones that don’t and confirm they’ll accept blanket donations before sending).
There are countless other charities out there looking for donations, so don’t forget to look locally. Just make sure whatever you make is brand-new and washable, and we’re sure someone will appreciate the special gift.