Knitting is hugely important in our lives, obviously, and so it only seems natural to want to extend and share our knitting with others.
I’ve been trying to compile a list of national charities either in the US or in the UK where you can make a difference in someone’s life. I’ve broken down the charities by topic, and I’ve also tried to include a variety – because while it’s great to knit a million blankets for those in need, sometimes you want to switch it up, you know?
Additionally, I did not include local charities, but please do a search for knitting charities in your area as there are SO MANY. Plus, you can probably just drive by your local hospital or shelter and drop items off.
Be sure to check each site’s requirements for yarn – some prefer acrylic or cotton!
- Neo-Natal Units/Grief Closets
- Care Wear – Care Wear is a group of knitters / crocheters that provide handmade baby items to hospitals. They have a list on their site of hospitals and want the hospital is requesting.
- Lisa’s Stars (UK Based) – This is a large community who help create a difference for parents who lose a child pre-term. They supply hospitals throughout the UK with blankets, hats, and clothing.
- Animal Shelters
- Comfort for Critters – Knit blankets for animals in shelters and foster homes. This includes cats and dogs, but also rabbits, guinea pigs, whoever makes it in!
- Leggings for Life – You’ll have to volunteer before you begin knitting, but this charity provides leggings for disabled animals to help prevent ulcerations and discomfort.
- Nursing Homes
- Sunshine International Blankets of Love (UK Based / Donations accepted March 1 – November 30) – This charity accepts knitted blankets and shawls. She also showcases each donation on her blog, if you want to look through it for inspiration.
- I did not find a national charity for the US, but check out Bev’s Country Cottage for pattern suggestions and ideas for local nursing homes.
- Red Scarf Project – (Accepted September 1 – December 15) Knit a red scarf for a foster child that’s made it into university. Foster Care to Success sends out care packages to each student from foster care as a way of support and encouragement, and the red scarves make it into the Valentine’s Day package.
- Knit for Kids – Knit a blanket, hat, or sweater for children in need – from New Orleans to Swaziland.
- Victims of Sexual/Domestic Violence
- Cancer Patients
- Knit for Peace (UK based) – This organization distributes to over 80 outlets, including hospitals, women’s refugees, prisons, hospices, and they also pass on donations of yarn and needles to knitters of a low income.
- Knitting 4 Peace – Based through the US and Canada, the organization personally delivers items to women and children in global areas of conflict in North America and around the world.
- Warm Up America – This wonderful charity accepts finished afghans, accessories, and 7″x9″ knit or crochet sections all year. This is a really great way to use up smaller bits of yarn scraps, but still contribute to something larger.
- Project Linus – This organization donates handmade blankets to children, aged 0-18 years, who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need of a blanket that can provide security, warmth, comfort, and love. They also accept fabric, yarn, and any materials you’d like to donate.
- Emily’s Hats for Hope – Emily was a teenager when she started this charity, and it has grown wildly in the last 4 years. She collects hats and distributes them to the homeless around the world, though it’s mostly in the NJ area. There are also many chapters where you can find a place closer to home.
- I’m a huge fan of yarn bombing for a purpose. Check out this BBC article on leaving scarves out, or this story out of Albany where knitters are dressing statues – and leaving tags explaining that the items are for whoever needs them.
This is far from an inclusive list – please feel free to link to a charity that accepts knitted items that’s close to your heart in the comments below.