by Nathan Baker
'Tis the season of giving and we know plenty of generous crafters. Most people are willing to give, we just are all so busy. We get caught up in day to day life, and we often don't find the time to seek out opportunities to give. That's why we decided to give you a quick breakdown of some of our favorite causes. Research can take time, and this will ease that burden. If you like doing crafts for charity, then these will be matches made in heaven.[caption id="attachment_5618" align="alignright" width="381"] Proof: my dog Laika wearing a homemade beanie by yours truly[/caption]
Just as you'd suspect, there are different types of organizations with different needs. Before we get into that, I'd like to suggest visiting a nearby retirement home and having arts and crafts time there with the residents. Giving our time to those who need companionship is one of the most charitable and rewarding things we can do.
Making Crafts to Donate to Charity?
If you want to donate completed projects, then below are some fine options to consider. Our readers are typically machine crafters, and many of these charities are looking for crocheted and knitted goods, but we suspect that many of you have these skills in your arsenal! If you can believe it, even I know how to knit and purl.
We did think of one fun way for you to use your Cricut machines: if you're planning on donating a kid's white t-shirt to a shelter, you might as well put a fun design on it first with Iron-on. I'm sure you have plenty of your own solutions for designs, but maybe try one of our free SVG files (download links located at the bottom of this post).
Without further ado, here are some great organizations:
- Newborns in Need - They provide “Immediate Need Kits” which include all the basics for a baby's first few weeks. They accept handmade items, like socks, beanies, blankets, and more. They are also asking for monetary donations and also that people to start new chapters in their communities.
- Snuggles Project - This one is for animal lovers! Knit and crochet small blankets for animal shelters. Make a little doggy's Christmas better. The aim is to help make these puppies more comfortable and less anxious, which leads to more adoptions. My dog came from a shelter, and so this hits home with me. One nice thing about the Snuggles Project is they encourage you to donate blankets to your local shelter and then report it to them (please). They offer free patterns on their website.
- Crochet for Cancer - this is a Christian non-profit that seeks to provide cancer patients who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy and radiation treatment. All you have to do is crochet a hat (please follow their guidelines) and then mail it to one of their chapters so they can distribute them to the needy.
- Art & Craft Center - Charity Wing has created a 3,000 sq foot arts and crafts center in San Marcos, CA where other non-profits can hold big events. There are also open studios, meetups, classes, and more for the community. You can become a member supporter, donate, adopt a family, and more.
Where to Donate Craft Supplies
If you're anything like most crafters, you probably have some old paper patterns and embellishments you got tired of and will likely never use. Here are some charitable ways to get rid of all that junk:
- Caitlin's Smiles - This non-profit is devoted to providing children with arts and crafts materials to kids afflicted with terminal illness. Caitlin's Smiles is named for a seven-year-old girl who lost her battle with brain cancer. They accept volunteers, supplies, and donations.
- The Dreaming Zebra - their mission statement is to encourage children to embrace their individuality, to express themselves creatively, and follow their artistic dreams. They need volunteers, "recycled" art, and donations.
One last thing, there is a local non-profit retirement community here where I live in Phoenix. The Beatitudes Campus is a great place for seniors to thrive and they are always looking for donations.
Merry Christmas from CraftDirect
The holiday season is a good time to think of others and how we can all lend a hand. If you can't give right now, you can help by sharing this post or a link to any one of these charities on facebook or twitter. Thanks for any help with these causes and we hope you have a Merry Christmas.
This is Nathan's first official post, but he has been editor of the CraftDirect blog since 2013