Pamela Beliak, Founder of Crafting for A Cure, and Michael Sellick (me) from The Crochet Crowd get together to talk about the donations for Crafting For A Cure. Pamela stood on the stage at Creativ Festival’s Gala and announced that The Crochet Crowd created a movement of over 5,000 donations to happen as a result of broadcasting it through YouTube. Click on the picture to see this interview. We laughed through several parts because we know each other and have a great relationship on and off the camera.
Editor’s Note: Thank you again to everyone who participated in Breanna’s project. Please note that we are no longer accepting donations at the office, as the project has ended for this year. Thank you!
Attention all knitters and crocheters: I have an exciting opportunity for us all to give back – it’s called Project Winter Warmth.
From now until November 28, Project Winter Warmth will be collecting knit and/or crochet hats, mittens/gloves and scarves for those in need. Donations are needed in all sizes (newborn, adult and children) and will benefit charities in desperate need of these items, mainly the Meals on Wheels program, The INNs Homeless Program, and any local schools where children are in need of these winter items. There are no yarn or pattern requirements for these donations – use whatever you have on hand!
Project Winter Warmth was started by Kenosha high school student Breanna Ricchio (pictured below) who has a passion for helping others. Breanna, along with her teammates on the Bradford High School Girls Varsity Soccer team, hopes to collect enough handmade sets to donate to all of the charities listed above.
When Breanna contacted me a few days ago, I was so excited to help her get the word out about her great cause – she’s from my hometown Kenosha, WI! Breanna started the Winter Warmth Project through the encouragement of her mother. “My mom has always done a lot of charity work and I always tagged behind to help her … She mentioned I should try something on my own. This is the idea I came up with. It’s great my coach and fellow team mates are going to help me out,” she said.
How you can help:
Project Winter Warmth will be collecting knit and/or crochet hats, mittens/gloves and scarves for those in need from now until November 28. Send all of your donations to our office address here:
Project Winter Warmth
Attn: Caitlin Kavanaugh
3400 Dundee Road, Suite 220
Northbrook, Il 60062
Once I receive all the donations by the end of November, I’ll be delivering them to Breanna and Bradford High School in one big load. I live right by her school – what a small world. 🙂
As a special treat: For everyone who sends us a donation, I’ll enter your name into a special contest for a prize package from AllFreeKnitting. We gave away a $50 prize basket for our last charity challenge, so I promise it will be good!
Remember, you can use any pattern you would like, but here are a couple of our favorites from AllFreeKnitting.com. We also have plenty of free patterns for scarves, hats and mittens/gloves to choose from!
First of all, Happy I love Yarn Day!
Now, for the past few weeks, AllFreeKnitting took part in an exciting charity challenge: we knit our very own bear for the Mother Bear Project! I would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who knit a bear along with us! Check out some of our favorite reader submissions below and keep reading … we’ll announce the winner of our promised prize basket below.
AllFreeKnitting’s finished bear:
We like to call him Frankie after Frank Sinatra. He’s classy – after all, just look at this bow tie!
Lori Matteson made this bear for the challenge. I love its little face!
Georgia Green made this insanely cute pair of bears – Fred and Ethel. I love how she made tiny belt buckles too – how creative!
Jill F. Johnson submitted this sweet girly bear. Don’t you love that crazy hair?
Teresa Skinner Eagan created this super cute bear. I love the striped dress and matching leggings!
She also made this one – so cute:
Kira Hoskins shared her lovely bear in progress with us. Keep up the great work, Kira.
And The Winner Is … Teresa Skinner Eagan!!
Teresa, please contact us at your earliest convenience so we can get your mailing address and send you your fabulous prize!
What is your fabulous prize? This exciting prize basket full of goodies:
Included in this $50 prize basket is:
- One skein of Stitch Nation Washable Ewe yarn in Clover
- One skein of Stitch Nation Washable Ewe yarn in Zinnia
- A BRAND NEW copy of the just released book Knit Local by Tanis Gray
- A 2011 calendar with 12 free patterns from designer Helen Hamann
My friend Nancee and I spent a weekend making cards for a project called Card Cupids. These cards are sent to the organization to be distributed to hospitalized children. It started as one woman’s dream to make sure kids had some love when it was most needed and now is reaching out to the creative community to make it a year-long reach-out. For more information about this project just click here.
Some cool card projects!
People like to craft for different reasons – it’s fun, it’s relaxing, it’s cheaper than going to the mall and buying a pre-made piece. But what if you turned your passion for crafting into something more than just a hobby? What if it became a way to help other who may be less physically or mentally able than you?
This is exactly what Linda Shoaf Ashby is doing with Note Worthy. Ashby’s program allows intellectually disabled students to channel their creativity through paper making. This is both therapeutic and fun for all involved. Plus it allows the crafters to gain confidence in their work. Everyone deserves a chance to get creative and practice new skills.
Another great aspect of the program is that all of the projects are sustainable and completely green. Helping the Earth and others – does it get any better?
Note Worthy is an award-winning program that has even been featured in a Miami Herald article as well as on local news stations. The program has expanded into three new schools and will hopefully keep growing.
I just found out about this really cool way to donate your crochet and knit projects! We’ve talked about crocheting for charity, knitting for charity, and sewing for charity before, and now there’s another charity to add to the list:
The Special Olympics is teaming up with Red Heart Yarns in an effort to collect scarves for participating Olympians. Why scarves? The Vice President of Marketing at Coats & Clark, Alyson Bell, explains, “The Scarf Project is an opportunity to create a handmade gift for the athletes, coaches, families, volunteers and supporters who can wear with pride knowing that it is crafted with love.”
Crocheters and knitters are invited to make a scarf (or two, or three…) to donate to their states’ participants in order to show their support for the Special Olympics. Want to get involved? Here’s how:
- Go to the official charity website for complete details.
- Scarves must be knit or crocheted using the official 2011 colors: Red Heart Super Saver 886 Blue and Red Heart Super Saver 512 Turqua.
- You can use any knitting or crochet scarf pattern you want, but scarves must be 54-60 inches long and 6 inches wide. You can be as creative with the design as you want! Here are some free patterns that you’re free to use:
Beginner Striped Scarf
When you visit the official site, choose your state from the drop-down menu to find out which sports your state participates in, how many scarves they need donated, where to mail completed scarves to, and what the deadline to send scarves in is. For Illinois, the deadline is January 18, 2011.
Happy knitting and crocheting!
Okay, so I know there are mixed feelings about Sweetest Day. I did a little research and the truth is, YES, it was a holiday created more than 80 years ago by some candy companies to increase sales in mid-October. Think about that–a holiday to increase candy sales in October. Hmm… I have to believe October now ranks pretty high in candy sales, given the number of times I’ve eaten the candy I bought for trick-or-treat and had to buy more. But I digress.
In addition to the commercial angle of selling more candy, the candy guys had their hearts in the right place. They were promoting it as giving candy to the less fortunate–in those days, that was newsboys, orphans, old folks, and the poor, according to Wikipedia. Of course, as is apt to happen, things change. Now it’s a holiday that some men get beat up over forgetting or ignoring (poor guys) and many of us don’t even notice. (I give my guy a pass on this one.)
So in the true spirit of it being a day to do nice things for the less fortunate, I have ideas of what you can do to really celebrate Sweetest Day on Saturday, October 16.
- Clear through your craft supplies and either A) donate the ones you won’t ever use to a charity or B) set them aside in a special box or bag for idea #2.
- Make a commitment to yourself to use the supplies you no longer need to make projects for donation. Two skeins of yarn worked up in single crochet as you mindlessly watch your favorite TV show will make a scarf for someone who needs one, while one ball can be used for a quick and easy hat. Or crochet easy mittens or knit a pair of mittens instead. Random scraps of yarn can be used to make granny squares for a blanket like this brightly colored throw. You can work up squares in your free time and when you have enough, you can join them into a baby blanket or larger throw. Do you sew? I was talking to a woman the other day who was making Stockings for Soldiers and she’d already made the 400 stockings she’d promised for this year and was working on some for next year! Another great project for sewers is Project Linus. If you’re a cardmaker, you can make cards and send them to Operation Write Home which sends them on to the troops so they can send cards home. The Split Coast Stampers have a great Cards for a Cause challenge each month on their forum–every month, a different place to send your cards! What a great idea! One tip–set goals for yourself so the box doesn’t just sit there until NEXT Sweetest Day. Maybe it’s one Saturday a month for four hours or every Tuesday night during The Biggest Loser TV show, but make the time.
- You made some projects in bulk as gifts (ornaments, jewelry, etc.) and have the supplies left to make a few more? Check with your favorite non-profit. See if they are looking for finished items they can sell and donate the finished crafts to them. Or have a table at their bazaar or craft fair, sell your work, and donate the proceeds. At a recent craft fair, a vendor was selling handmade jewelry and the proceeds were going to the local animal shelter. What a great way to support a cause you believe in.
- Would you love to learn to knit, learn to crochet, or learn to sew from your grandma, great aunt, mom, buddy, family friend, neighbor, but haven’t made the time? What better way to celebrate Sweetest Day than to reach out to that person and spend a great day together. You’ll feel great learning something new and they’ll feel better for passing along their skills.
- Be sweet to yourself — take a break and spend some time creating something. No card or candy needed (unless you want a snack…).
- And if you want to stick with the current interpretation, make a Sweetest Day gift or a Sweetest Day card for the special person in your life.
Have yourself a fabulous Sweetest Day and be sweet to someone!
After you’ve made your 15th burp cloth or your 25th afghan or your 50th scarf, you might realize that you’ve run out of people to make things for. Every friend, family member, co-worker, and acquaintance has been gifted with something you’ve made, and your entire house is covered with sewing projects, from curtains and pillows to the clothes in your closet. But you still want to keep sewing. So what’s a budding sewer to do?
Sew for charities! There are charities for every affliction that will happily take your donations of money, time, and gently-used items. But what a lot of people don’t think of is crafts! Here’s a list of some charities that you can sew for, so put your talents and your passion for sewing toward a good cause:
Project Linus: Sew a blanket to give to a sick child in the hospital. Many children rely on security blankets to get through difficult times, and a handmade blanket donated by a caring stranger can do wonders for a child in need. All types of blankets are accepted–crochet, knit, sewn, quilted, or even tied fleece. If it’s handmade, it’s good! Here are the blanket patterns on FaveCrafts, and also check out baby blankets on AllFreeSewing.
Craft Hope: This organization has developed a list of craft patterns or project tutorials for anyone to use, accompanied by a list of charities that are in need of these handmade items. For instance, they’ve got a pillowcase pattern with instructions on donating to ConKerr Cancer, a charity that distributes pillowcases to sick children. Be sure to check out their book for the projects. This pillowcase tutorial is perfect for donating.
Blankets of Hope: You can also send your homemade blankets to wounded soldiers and veterans. Soldiers are taken into hospitals quickly after being wounded, often not having enough time to take their personal belongings with them. Having a homemade blanket to themselves is immensely comforting. Show our soldiers and veterans that you care!
Dress a Girl Around the World: Imagine a world where every little girl owned at least one dress. That’s the motto of this organization, which makes and distributes pillowcase dresses to girls all over the world, from Uganda to Hong Kong to Australia. Use one of the patterns on their site for a quick and easy charity sewing project.
Here are some more sewing patterns to use when sewing for charity:
Have you ever sewn for charity? Which charities have I missed?
A recent article from Time, “Helping Hearts” by Alice Park, describes a program run by the Mayo Clinic. WomenHeart trains women to become heart-disease advocates. Heart disease is the leading cause of death to women in the U.S. The program was founded by Dr. Sharonne Hayes, director of the Women’s Heart Clinic at Mayo, and three heart-disease patients. The idea behind WomenHeart is to educate women about heart disease and empower them to spread the knowledge in their communities.
Suzie Arnegger, a heart disease survivor and graduate of the WomenHeart program, helped found a program called Heart Scarves in 2006 along with fellow graduate Marilyn Deak and fellow heart disease survivors Betsy Doherty and Tina Bradford. For Heart Scarves, women knit red scarves for patients undergoing heart procedures or recovering from heart procedures. The program brings comfort to these patients and also helps to spread awareness of heart disease and the WomenHeart organization.
Red Heart yarn supports Heart Scarves with special HeartScarves kit. For every HeartScarves kit ordered, Red Heart yarn will donate $3 to WomenHeart. You can purchase a crochet kit here or a knit kit here. For more information, you can read their press release.
Warm the hearts and fuel the spirit of the Special Olympics athletes competing in the 2010 Idaho State Winter Games!
In 2009, the Special Olympics World Winter Games invited knitters and crocheters from around the USA and the world to create a special gift for the athletes of the World Games. The response was overwhelming with more than 55,000 hand knit scarves, and in the end created an incredible sense of welcome and well-wishes for the Special Olympics athletes, where the response and generosity is still spoken about today.
With the 2010 Special Olympics Idaho Winter Games approaching in just five weeks, we are hoping to welcome the athletes here in our great state with a personal gift that inspires them to strive for their best in competition while sharing the spirit, kindness and respect of all communities.
Let’s bring the scarves back! Our goal is to provide the gift of a hand knit or crochet scarf to each of the 650 athletes competing in the Idaho Winter Games as they arrive during the Opening Ceremony on March 12, 2010.
Anyone is welcome to knit or crochet a scarf for the 2010 Special Olympics Idaho Winter Games, we just ask that you follow a few simple guidelines to help maintain consistency and uniformity across these gifts for the athletes.
Design: Any design or pattern is welcome.
Colors: Red Heart Super Saver Cherry Red and Red Heart Grey Heather
Length: Approximately 55 inches long
Width: Approximately 5 inches long
All scarves must arrive by Tuesday, March 9, 2010.
Please deliver or ship to:
Special Olympics Idaho
Attn: Scarf Project
199 East 52nd Street
Garden City, ID 83714
Questions? Please contact Heather Hill at HeatherHill33@mac.com or 208.860.5353.
Details on the 2010 Special Olympics Idaho Scarf Project can also be found here: