If you’ve been reading the blog for any length of time, you know that I enjoy making charity projects. In the past, I would participate in charity crochet-a-longs online and ship my creations to organizations throughout the country and the world. With rising postage costs, more and more crocheters are looking for ways to contribute their crocheting talent locally. Luckily, it’s easier than you think to find local charities that accept handmade projects. In today’s post, I’ll be sharing four ways to get started donating your crochet and knit creations to local charities along with a roundup of free crochet patterns that are perfect for charitable donation.
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Read on for my tips, or watch the video below.
If you can’t see the video above, click here to watch it on YouTube.
Start with local yarn lovers!
The first stop in your search should be your local crochet and knitting organizations and yarn shops. These groups may already organize drives for local charities that accept handmade creations. By working with these groups, you’ll also have the opportunity to crochet or knit with other people, and you may even be able to access discounted or donated yarn for charity projects.
- Crocheters can find a complete chapter list of local Crochet Guild of America chapters here.
- Knitters can find a list of local The Knitting Guild Association guilds here.
- If you haven’t yet visited (or found) your local yarn shop, try searching on Knitmap, NeedleTravel, and YarnPlaces.
Search online charity directories
If your local chapter, guild, or shops aren’t involved in charity drives, several organizations maintain online lists of charities that accepted handmade donations.
- The Lion Brand Charity Connection allows you to search by zip code and filter by charity interest.
- Bev’s Country Cottage, the Crochet Guild of America, and The Knitting Guild Association maintain lists of organizations that accept handcrafted donations.
- Be aware that these lists may not be updated regularly, so you should always contact the charity to check out their current requirements, deadlines and drop off locations and times.
Read the requirements before your start your project
Before getting started, understand the requirements for your identified charity. While crocheting and knitting may be your ways to express creativity, projects that do not meet requirements may not be used and may even be discarded.
Most charities specify fiber types, and others may recommend colors. For example, charities that provide winter wear to homeless people may request acrylic yarns in dark colors, while a hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit might request cotton yarn in pastel colors for their premature patients. Organizations may even specify exact colors to use or avoid for cultural or other reasons.
Many charities are quite specific about project sizes as well. They may be seeking hats only for newborns or pet blankets that can fit into large crates. There are often detailed instructions for finishing, too. Ends may need to be left hanging or woven in for a particular length to avoid unraveling.
Pick a project
Once you know the requirements of your charity, you can pick out a project. Several charities have recommended patterns, but often you can choose the pattern as long as your project conforms to other guidelines. If you find it easier to make projects once you memorize the stitch pattern, you may want to choose one pattern, such as a simple scarf or mittens, to make again and again. If you are easily bored by repetition or want to challenge yourself to try different projects, you may find it fun to work through a book of patterns.
Here are 15 free crochet patterns that make great donations!
The top row features baby and child blankets that you might donate to neonatal intensive care units (NICU), shelters for children and families, or organizations that provide comfort blankets to pediatric patients. From left to right:
- Intensive Love Blanket (sized for NICU distribution via Knots of Love)
- It’s a School Night Night Blanket (sized for distribution to homeless children via Project Night Night)
- Checkerboard in Primary Colors Blanket (available in 6 sizes)
- For Kyle Baby Blanket (sized for distribution via Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation)
- Rectangular Sampler Blanket (sized for distribution to homeless children via Project Night Night)
The second row features scarves and a shawl which can be donated to shelters, veteran’s organizations, or hospitals. From left to right:
- Color Blocked Co-Ed Scarf (designed for donation to the Red Scarf Project)
- Gradient Shells Scarf (great for donation to a winter accessories drive)
- Marciana Lace Prayer Shawl (designed to be donated as a comfort shawl)
- Bulky Faux Mistake Rib Scarf (great for donation to a winter accessories drive)
- Glittery Accent Scarf (designed for donation to Handmade Especially for You)
The bottom row features hats perfect for donation to charities working with hospital patients or winter accessories drives. From left to right:
- Drawstring Beanie with Yarrow Flower (a “chemo cap” in 7 sizes)
- Under the Bridge Hat (available in 6 size)
- Faux Mistake Rib Watchman’s Cap (available in 8 sizes)
- Simple Spiral Beanie (available in 8 sizes)
- Yakity Schmakity (available in 3 sizes)