Crafting for charity: roundup #1
Crafting for a cause is something we're seeing more and more of, so if you'd like to do good every time you pick up your needles, penknife or glue-gun, check out our list of charity craft projects that are currently active.
The Big Knit is a great idea for keeping older people warm in winter, devised and run each year by Innocent Smoothies. Hundreds of volunteers send in miniature bobble-hats (in all kinds of inventive styles!) to fit on the tops of smoothie bottles. Then each time one of the hat-wearing smoothies is sold during the run-up to the festive season, Innocent donate a very generous 50p to Age Concern.
Innocent are currently seeking more knitters to take part in the project, and reach their ambitious 400,000 hat target (last year, they received £230,000 hats). So if you can knit, this really is a worthwhile and fun project to get involved with. If you want design inspiration, there's a flickr group here showing some of the designs already submitted.
Etsy for Animals is a group of artists and crafters that operate Etsy shops who donate a portion of their sales to animal rescues and animal charities. At the Etsy for Animals website, you can find a comprehensive list of the Etsy Shops who donate to animal related causes - approximately 150 shops in total. You can also find information about various animal rescues, from locally operated charities to national and international animal aid.
As featured by Lauren O'Farrell earlier today on Crafty Crafty, the Knit a Natty Key Ring campaign is another ingenious charity project featuring miniature knits! By making tiny knitted keyrings, people all over the UK are putting their needles and yarn to good use to produce tiny jumpers and handbags for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
Wendy Else and her daughter Victoria came up with the concept to raise money for the charity to give something back, after Wendy was treated for breast cancer in 2004. The idea is that knitters produce as many of the tiny items as they like, and they are sold to raise money. Knitters are provided with the patterns free (you can download them here from Angel Yarns) and are sent key rings to put their finished items on.
4. St John's Ambulance Big Tea Cozy: a stitch in time saves lives.
St John's Ambulance are inviting people to "have a cuppa" (Brit slang for 'cup of tea') at a special fund-raising event on 30th November. And by that time of year, you'll be wanting to keep your teapot cozy, so the charity is appealing for knitters to donate towards an initial target of 5,000 tea cozies, to go towards a day of selling gallons of tea for charity. The cozies will then be sold off to raise additional funds for their lifesaving work.
To get people knitting in their droves, St John's Ambulance have teamed up with online yarn shop Laughing Hens, who have devised a tea cozy pattern, which you can download here. St John's Ambulance are looking for all sorts of designs -- the crazier the better -- and you may even win the website's coveted Tea cosy of the week!
Winter is very hard on the homeless, so it's about this time of year that knitters can really help them. Warm hats, gloves and scarves become lifesaving necessities as the weather turns cold, and US-based Hats 4 the Homeless was set up to ensure a supply of warm clothing can be sent directly to homeless people each year.
Hats 4 the Homeless places collection boxes in hospitals, churches, grammar schools, high schools, colleges, offices and stores. If you would like to help your organization get started collecting items for the homeless, just click this link to download a form, and they'll send you a beautiful, Christmas-decorated poster you can easily attach to any size
Christmas-wrapped box, which you send back to the charity once it's full of wooly items. Why not make this part of your Christmas Traditions every year?