We’ve been talking about the hurdles of learning to sew recently and got a great comment that made me think: can charities + crafting = DIY for good? If you’re learning to sew, quilt, crochet, whatever, is there a way to donate your crafted items to a charity who needs them? Sees like a no-brainer. I decided to find out.
Here’s what reader JJ had to say about it…
I am currently learning to sew and I have found sewing reusable cloth panty liners and cloth menstrual pads really great to learn with and fun to make. Cloth panty liners and pads are small so don’t take hours, and if you use an all straight pattern (the Cher from Versodile for example) it is much easier to sew and a great way to practice corners and straight lines. Round patterns are a good way to practice curves. And if your sewing isn’t great they’re still totally usable and no one else really has to see them to even know.
And if actually using them yourself is a stretch too far, you can donate them to charities in many different countries including the USA. – JJ
YES! Donating crafted items is totally a thing. Here are some organizations which will gladly take your crafted projects:
Afghans for Afghans distributes handmade blankets, scarves, hats, mittens, and socks to disenfranchised and poverty-striken people in Afghanistan.
Anti-Cruelty Society accepts pet enrichment items like cat wands, cork toys, crochet and knit toys, kitty sachets, and No-sew pet beds.
Binky Patrol provides blankets to children up to age 18 who are born HIV+ or drug addicted, who have illnesses, or who are experiencing trauma.
Blessing Bags are made for the homeless and underserved and filled with things like hats, socks, water, gift cards, and bus fare.
Days for Girls provides sanitary pads and hygiene kits for people with periods who don’t have easy access to hygiene products.
Enchanted Makeovers decorates shelters and crisis centers for women into comfy and homey spaces. They take donations of pillowcases, quilts, blankets, aprons, and kids’ items.
Operation Write Home provides blank, handmade cards to soldiers deployed overseas so they can write home to their families. if you’d like to donate, cards should be 4.25×5.5” and include envelopes with no glitter (this is a biggie), and they are more in need of general cards than holiday cards.
Ugly Quilts provides handmade, rollable quilts made from repurposed fabrics to the homeless. You can even get tutorials on their site.
There are SO many more organizations to which you can send your handmade and totally usable (albeit maybe not that pretty) handmade projects. It’ll make learning to sew and craft that much more satisfying and won’t clutter up your house with projects with no use. Plus, there are even places to donate craft supplies if you decide a project isn’t for you.
Comments on Crafting projects + charities = DIY for good
Thanks, Catherine, for posting on behalf of crafting for charities just in time to make a real difference for the winter holidays — and beyond! As a knitter, I’ve chosen two charities for this year’s donations.
https://seamenschurch.org/christmas-at-sea — The Seamen’s Church Institute needs knit or crocheted garments to warm mariners’ hearts and heads this winter. Plenty of patterns on their website, and a Facebook page with photos of the donated garments, to keep you inspired.
http://www.knittingforcharity.org/ If you’re new to charity knitting, this is a great place to start. A free email course, frequent blog posts and knitting tips, links to projects and ideas. A real treasure trove, imho.
Happy crafting to all!
Also making things to donate to charity auctions! And other things you may have around the house. I have been storing some fancy dishes and other pretty but not very useful stuff since my wedding, and figured others could benefit. I donated a pretty wooden box that had been sitting on a shelf unused for 7 years to a local charity auction and they got $50 for it…..yay!!!
Check your local hospital too. When my kids were in the NICU they had a program where people donated handmade baby/ preemie hats. When you can’t dress your baby because the doctors need constant access to their little bodies it was really nice to be able to pick out a new cute hat. It was the only typical parent thing we got to do for several months. They also accepted hand made fleece incubator covers. They were basically the no-sew fleece blankets with the tied edges.
If you love crafting and teaching crafting I highly recommend donating your time. When I was on hospital bedrest I had a few lovely volunteers stop by my room offer to teach me to knit. I sucked at it. But it was a really nice distraction from the weeks lying in bed in a stale hospital room.
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