Get Started Knitting for Charity

Knitters are a generous group. We know the joy and comfort that a handmade gift can provide and many of us want to share those positive feelings with others through charity knitting. Here are three tips to get you started with knitting for charity.

First, be a little selfish

It may seem contrary to being charitable, but

Knitters are a generous group. We know the joy and comfort that a handmade gift can provide and many of us want to share those positive feelings with others through charity knitting. Here are three tips to get you started with knitting for charity.

First, be a little selfish

It may seem contrary to being charitable, but being clear about what’s important to you and what you hope to get out of charity crafting up front will help you to stay motivated to finish and deliver your charity projects.

Ask yourself a few questions before starting a new charity project.

  • Do I want to contribute locally to have a bigger impact in my own community (or to save money on postage) or am I more interested in sending my projects away?
  • Do I want to contribute to a specific cause that’s important to me, or would I rather work on specific types of projects that I enjoy making?
  • Do I want to knit on my own, or would I rather be part of a charity group?
  • Can I afford to use my own yarn for charity projects, or do I need to partner with a charity that will provide me with yarn?
  • Do I want to contribute to the same causes and organizations over and over again, or do I like changing things up?

Once you answer these questions, you’ll have a better idea of what type of organization you may want to donate your knit projects to.

Next, find the perfect organization

If you’d like to work locally, local hospitals, nursing homes, animal care organizations, and homeless shelters are often willing to work with knitters. If you enjoy knitting with a group, check out your local The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA) Guild. Guilds often organize charity knitting projects to benefit local organizations. Local libraries may be another resource for group charity knitting, and of course, you should also check in with your local yarn shop.

If you’re comfortable mailing your projects, search online for charity knitting organizations. AllFreeKnitting has a great knitting for charity resource page where you can learn more about different charities that accept knit projects.

Finally, read the guidelines before casting on

Every organization that accepts charity projects will have different requirements and rules. To make sure your project is used, be sure to read these through carefully before starting your project. Some charities only accept projects made with certain patterns, colors, or fiber content, while others are more flexible. Many charities that work with pets and children have specific guidelines for how to weave in ends to avoid choking hazards. Other organizations may only accept projects in specific sizes because of their clientele or storage facilities.

Remember that projects that don’t meet guidelines are likely to be discarded at the charity’s expense. If you find a particular organization’s rules too rigid, look for another group that is a better fit with your preferences to make sure that your work ends up being used by your intended recipient.

Bonus tip: While our gut reaction as knitters is often to respond to news about a natural disaster or other traumatic event by casting on and mailing out a project, do your research first. Local organizations may be overwhelmed by the demands of storage and distribution immediately following a crisis, so be sure your project is still needed before sending it off.

With these simple tips, you’ll be on your way to creating beautiful projects that serve as a comfort to your recipients!

 

Comments
  • This is a great article. Having worked for not-for-profit organizations, the part about needs and requirements for certain organizations is very important. Check with an organization before you invest your time, money and energy. Since retiring I have been using up small batches of yarn on hats and scarfs. I donate them to my granddaughter’s Girl Scout Troop who in turn donate them to our local Catholic Charities. The girls learn about the organization they are donating to, as well as the need in our rural county for somethings that most of the girls take for granted: warm items for our WNY winters.

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  • Delores R.

    I knit lap robes for the Vets Hospital in Florida.I ask yearn companies to send me any left over yarn they have..

    Reply
  • Not all charities will discard your donation if it does not meet their exact specifications. When I worked for a homeless shelter I developed a list of other local groups that would take things we received but could not use. If you are worried, include a note with your donation asking for it to be passed along in the community if it isn’t right for the recipient. 😎

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