Since it’s National Sewing Month I wanted to once again highlight one of the reasons why I sew: charity projects.
For the most part I’ve just been sewing dresses for my Dresses for Missions ministry through my church. The dresses go to girls in Haiti who have next to nothing. I do this in order to put a smile on a girl’s face.
Lately I’ve picked up the crochet hook and have decided that I’m going to start crocheting blankets for the local chapter of Project Linus. The great thing about Project Linus is that you can sew, crochet, knit or even make a ‘no-sew’ blanket.
How many of us love to sew or crochet, but you hesitate to work on anything because what are you going to do with the finished product? I mean, a person really needs only so many quilts or afghans, right? Do you work on projects for family or friends and then worry that they really don’t appreciate all of your time and effort? One way to know that the recipient is going to really appreciate your work is by creating something for charity. The other day I was tooling around the internet to see how many different charity organizations exist for those who sew, crochet or knit. That’s when I came across a site called Care Wear.
This site has actually overwhelmed me since I stumbled across it. It is very well organized, nicely laid out, and it’s so easy to find a place that needs the type of items that you are able to make. I can hear you now, “Kerry, if I’m going to make something I really prefer that it helps somebody in my own area. Not that it wouldn’t be appreciated, but helping closer to home is what I would prefer.” Great! Care Wear can help you out with that.
If you click on their Hospitals tab there is a tool that allows you to pick your State and then the towns for that State where they have organizations/hospitals already listed. Let’s say that I live in Atlanta, GA. I would use the tool to pull up a list that includes Children’s Medical Center, the March of Dimes, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Here is an example of what is provided for the listings:
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta-
Attn: Manager, Volunteer Services
1405 Clifton Rd. NE
Atlanta, GA 30322-1101, USA
Needs: Blankets & outfits for preemie to 3-month size in boys and girls (Onesies, sleepers, dressses, boy outfits, etc…) Baby colors preferred.
You can make whatever you want from that list and then mail it to the contact person using the address provided, or drop it off in person.
Another way that you can find a place to donate is by going to their Home page. Listed there are recent requests (all dated) with contact information, etc. For example:
NOVANT HEALTH HEMBY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL (Child LIfe Specialist–Kristen Beaury, 200 Hawthorne Lane, Charlotte, NC 28204 requests drawstring beads of courage bags for their patients. Contact Kristen for more information (845-849-4289 or Knuss@novanthealth.org. Directions can be found on the following site: http://www.bechildcanceraware.org/beads-of-courage/photo-instructions-for-bead-bags/ (July 20, 2016)
This website makes it very hard to find any decent excuses as to why you can’t donate to any one of these places. “But how do I know what patterns are acceptable to use? I don’t have time to sift through all of the internet sites to find the right pattern and I don’t have the money to purchase a bunch of patterns.”
Care Wear can help you out with that, too. Not only do some of the listings provide links (like for the bead bags above), but there is a Patterns page with links to LOTS of different items. Every pattern that I’ve checked out has been one that is free for use as long as you are using it for a charity project. And if you need some inspiration definitely check out the Newsletters with articles and pictures about donations, crafting the donations, and letters from people who have received articles that were made from the heart. Oh, and the newsletters always have free patterns included, too.
I have bookmarked this site and will be checking it frequently. Not that I have a lot of time to be working on even more sewing or crocheting projects, but I definitely have to be part of this. If I could afford it I would quit my job just to sew or crochet full time on projects like this. The way that I look at it is if I can bring a little bit of joy and happiness into the life of somebody who is experiencing some darkness, then I want to do it. Since I can’t quit my job I will have to do it in little drops here and there as I can find time. The good thing about little drops is that if you get enough people making little drops it turns into a trickle… enough trickles turn into a shower… and enough showers turns into a flood. It’s like the story about the little boy picking up starfish on the beach after a storm. When asked what it mattered if he tossed only a few back into the ocean when there were so many that wouldn’t make it he looked down at the starfish in his hand and said, “To this one it matters…” as he tossed it back into the ocean.