In honor of the National Day of Giving on November 29, 2022 I wanted to create a special round-up of charities and organizations that need your special skills in the form of crocheted donations!
Warm Up America (Blankets, Hats & Scarves)
nonprofit that since 1991 has provided hand knitted and crocheted blankets, clothing and accessories made by volunteers across the country and donated to people in need. When researching this organization I was so intrigued by what they ask volunteers to create. Volunteers can donate their time to crochet and knit one or more 7″ by 9″ sections, not JUST entire blankets and accessories.
These smaller donated sections are then joined by individuals or groups in a community and donated locally or sent to foundation headquarters for joining and distribution. So, even if you don’t have the time to crochet or knit entire blankets you can still help by making these smaller sections to donate! See their current needs and how you can help!
Rachel’s Gift (Blankets)
Since 2008, Rachel’s Gift has collaborated with hospitals to provide specialized care for parents who lose a child to miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death. At the time of crisis, their bereavement care and services help to lessen trauma and long-term regrets, reducing psychological damage. One of these services Is to provide keepsakes and follow up support to families.
Boxes include an angel bear, a hand-crocheted blanket for swaddling, options to capture handprints and footprints, and burial gowns. These keepsakes are a physical lifetime connection to the child that was only in a parent’s arms a matter of minutes or hours. Knitting and crocheting volunteers play a vital role in bringing compassion and support to bereaved moms and families. Blankets donated to Rachel’s Gift are gifted directly at the bedsides of grieving mothers. Your handmade blankets will forever be treasured keepsakes to parents whose children were in their arms for only a matter of moments.
The Red Scarf Project (Scarves)
Cards and cookies from home are important to college students. Sadly, few foster youth receive them. That’s why Foster Care to Success developed the Care Package Program. Each school year, our students receive two care packages to help them feel just like their college peers. Opening a box stuffed with goodies, having something to share with their friends or roommates, and realizing someone is thinking of them, are just some of the ways our students feel supported by the Care Package Program.
Whether you are a beginner, an expert or somewhere in between, your handiwork can send warmth and encouragement to a student from foster care. The handmade red scarves in our Valentine’s Day care packages become treasured keepsakes that our students wear for years. Since the first Valentine’s Day care packages were mailed in 2005, we have delivered over 25,000 red scarves to foster youth in colleges and training programs across the country.
“Your hands are a window into your heart and soul. There is love in every stitch, and a handmade scarf is like a hug. The FC2S Red Scarf Project gives us each an opportunity to show that someone out there truly cares about our foster youth.”Lily Chin, Master Knitter
Project Linus (Blankets)
Project Linus is a non-profit organization that provides new handmade blankets to children in need. Their mission/ Provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”
All Project Linus blankets are hand-made by volunteers, donated to local chapters, and primarily distributed within the same communities where they were donated. So, if you are looking to get involved and donate blankets, the first thing you would need to do is contact your local chapter, you can find a list of them here. You can reach out and see what their currents needs are and then go from there!
Knitted Knockers (Misc/Amigurimi)
Knitted Knockers are special handmade breast prosthesis for women who have undergone mastectomies or other procedures to the breast. The mission of Knitted Knockers is to connect volunteer knitters and crocheters with breast cancer survivors to offer free Knitted Knockers to any woman who wants them. There is a huge demand for Knitted Knockers that can’t be met by any one group but together we can do it!
Knockers are needed in all sizes and colors so have fun making the Knockers of your choice. By far the most requested are neutral colors though and matching pairs are greatly needed. Please note that only knockers made from approved patterns and approved yarn will be used for distribution of knockers at knittedknockers.org. They may be called “knitted knockers” but they don’t leave the crocheters out–they have a specific pattern and video tutorial for crocheted knockers too!
Knots of Love (Hats)
Knots of Love is a non-profit 501(c)3 public charity based in Southern California. Founded in 2007, the Knots of Love mission is to provide lovingly hand-knit and crocheted beanies to people going through chemo and NICU blankets to babies in neonatal ICU incubators. They have gifted over HALF A MILLION lovingly handmade creations in over 14 years! Learn more about their current needs and how you can get involved!
Binky Patrol (Blankets)
Susan Finch started with a simple idea: anyone can volunteer. For those who feel constrained by a lack of time, money or talent, she started Binky Patrol. It’s a simple, accessible way for anyone to make a difference in their community. A binky is any cozy blanket, made by someone who cares, and given to a child who is facing a difficult situation. These blankets can be knitted, crocheted, quilted, or sewn together, so it’s a project for any crafter! All patterns are acceptable, and many freebies are provided on their website to get you started.
Binkies are sent to children facing difficult situations. Some of these kids face health challenges: born HIV Positive, addicted to drugs, suffering from chronic or terminal illnesses. Kids receiving binkies could also face difficult situations at home: abuse, foster care, homelessness, or loss of a family member. Binky Patrol looks to provide comfort to those who need it most. They check with local area shelters, hospitals, emergency foster care agencies & other groups to see who is in need. They focus on the ‘invisible kids’ in a community; those who are slipping through the cracks in the system. Any child in need of a reminder that they are seen, heard, & cared for by something they might not even know.
Petals of Gratitude (Amigurumi)
Founded in 2021, Petals of Gratitude is a global group of volunteers who use our crochet talents to make crochet flowers for cancer patients to gift to their medical team. After a request from a cancer patient for a bouquet of crocheted flowers to gift to his medial care tram, the founder, Jenny says “I took this Idea to a large online crochet group and before I knew it, I had over 150 volunteers wanting to help make a rose. It grew from there and hasn’t stopped growing. We offer this service to all Cancer patients for free, we love being able to bring smiles to as many faces as possible. Thank you for visiting us! Please, help us spread the word!”
Warmth for Warriors (Hats)
The mission of Warmth for Warriors is to show appreciation for America’s military personnel and their families through the gifts of handmade, warm, wool hats and other comfort items. Warm for Warriors also seeks to expand awareness of the sacrifices made by military families through the publicizing of the organizations efforts and to increase the interest of others, inspire volunteers and leverage donations. Since 2007 they have mailed 53,841 hats and 22,982 Christmas stockings to both soldiers overseas and soldiers and veterans here at home.
Mats 4 Vets (Blankets/Mats)
Cucumel’s Compassionate Carpets seeks to keep plastic bags out of landfills while also helping Homeless Vets by providing them with a sleeping mat made completely out of recycled plastic bags. See how you can help and donate!
Crochet For Cancer (Hats)
Crochet for Cancer is a Christian volunteer based non-profit that donates handmade chemo caps to cancer centers for patients coping with hair loss. People from around the globe volunteer their time and talent to crochet and knit hats for oncology patients. They mail their items to one of our Official Crochet for Cancer Chapters and they distribute them to cancer centers, doctor offices and hospitals in their community. Join our efforts and show your love and support to those in the fight of their lives. Find out how you can Get Involved.
Comfort for Critters (Blankets)
Comfort for Critters is a social entrepreneurship that donates handmade pet blankets to shelters across the US and sells e-books to help you make your own pet blanket! We’re “in business” to help homeless pets! All net proceeds from book sales go to ship our free handmade blankets to 400+ animal shelters in every US state–As of this year over 152,000 handmade blankets have been donated to animal shelters by CFC! These blankets are made by our amazing volunteers, and you’re welcome to join the team!
Knit The Rainbow (Wearables)
Knit the Rainbow (KtR) is the first organization of its kind in the United States, providing thousands of hand-made winter garments a year for homeless and at-risk LGBTQ+ Youth. Our programs are dedicated to giving these youth a warm and fashionable protective layer of clothing that is imperative to their comfort and survival during harsh winter months. KtR cannot achieve this mission without the help of our volunteer crafters, designers, yarn shop owners, and donors from across the nation. We are constantly expanding the community we serve and need your help to grow our programs and output.
There are many ways to get involved with KtR, whether you are interested in knitting or crocheting, designing new garments or patterns, teaching classes, attending fundraisers, or supporting online campaigns – our Rainbow Community needs YOU!
Feel Better Friends (Amigurumi)
Feel Better Friends are handmade dolls stuffed with love and well wishes, crafted by volunteers and donated to children battling cancer and other illnesses.
In May of 2014 Founder Shanon Fouquet came up with the idea when she saw a picture of a little girl named Berkeley who was battling cancer and holding her American Girl doll. Like most little girls who have this popular doll, Berkeley was “twinning”, or dressed identically to her doll. Shanon looked at this particular photo of this brave little girl who was proud to be going ‘wigless’ to her doctor’s appointment that day, and Shanon couldn’t help but wonder if Berkeley would like for her doll to be able to go ‘wigless’ too.
It was then that Shanon decided to come up with a handmade doll created just for Berkeley with a wig and matching clothes that could go ‘wigless’ just like her! Shanon had so much fun making Berkeley’s doll that she decided to make more dolls for other children suffering from cancer and other illnesses, who would like the comfort of a Feel Better Friends doll custom made with their own likeness and characteristics.
It was then that the FBF project was started and quickly grew and soon there were enough children wanting FBF dolls that Shanon couldn’t keep up. She started a volunteer group of other crocheters who wanted to give just like Shanon. Now with almost 200 volunteers across the US and some in other countries, there are children all around the world receiving the love and comfort of their very own FBF dolls. Learn more and see how you can get involved!
Octopus for a Preemie (Amigurumi) – UK
Are you in the UK? Octopus for a Preemie is a registered UK charity that provides handmade crochet and knit octopuses and jellyfish to comfort babies who decided to come into the world a little earlier than expected. This charity project first started in Denmark and then extended to Spain, Ukraine and continued in Poland, UK and more recently Austria.
To the premature baby, the carefully made octopus’s tentacles feel like their mother’s umbilical cord. Comforting the baby and reducing the risk of the little one pulling on the medical bits and bobs they may need and potentially cause serious problems for them. These octopuses and jellyfish really help our babies and parents through their first days of life. Learn how you can get involved!
Want to make a difference a little closer to home?
Reach out to local establishments and organizations to see what their needs are! One Christmas I donated hats for all of the preemies in my local NICU, I called to find out how many babies would be there over the holidays and was able to drop them off myself. Here is a list of the types of places that might need your help with specific items!
- Nursing homes
- Homeless shelters
- Cancer centers
- Animal shelters
- Hospice care centers
- Veteran centers
Simple & Fast Crochet Patterns you can use for Donations
These patterns all call for super chunky yarn, meaning they will work up super fast so you can make more items in less time. You can also hold multiple strands of yarn together for these projects if you don’t have super bulky yarn!
- Simple Pom Pom Hat Pattern
- Free Super Simple Hat FREE Video Tutorial
- Simple Headband/Ear Warmer FREE video tutorial
- Simple Fingerless Gloves FREE video tutorial
- Simple Cozy Mittens Pattern
- Simple Slippers Pattern
I hope you found this list helpful, if you know of a charity that should be added please place a link to it in the comments of this post so others can see it too! I would love to know if you have worked with any of the charities listed above or if you have worked with any local organizations to donate hand crocheted items! If we all work to make a difference in our own small way, it can have a HUGE impact!