After knitting and sewing all those pussy hats and experiencing the positive collective energy of the Women’s March, I didn’t know what to do with myself. Yes, I can write postcards and make calls, but I’m a maker. I need to do something with my hands. So I need to keep knitting and sewing. It is calming, meditative and helps me deal with the anxiety of these uncertain times. It can be subversive, revolutionary, and political. I’ve been thinking a lot about making and how it is ultimately a hopeful act. You are making something from nothing. It can express our anger or embody our love. Making is powerful!
We can reach out to our community through charity projects and support others across the globe by using our craft as a form of activism and expression.
Here are a few ideas of organizations that help get our handmade items to people in need and spread some love:
Binky Patrol Binky Patrol
Donates handmade blankets to children with illnesses, those in foster care, and other kids experiencing trauma. The binky blanket can be anywhere from three square feet to the size of a twin bed, and the website has a few free patterns to choose from as well
Care Wear Care Wear donates handmade baby items like hats, booties, blankets, mittens, and IV covers to hospitals in the US, Canada, and Italy. You can search for a hospital that’s close to you and see its wish list of items, either just sending the items you make to the hospital or calling the representative listed to discuss the projects further. There are tons of patterns on the website, which emphasizes goods for preemie babies.
Warm Up America Warm Up America donates handmade afghan blankets to people in need. It’s often homeless shelters, women’s shelters, and natural disaster relief organizations like the Red Cross that distribute these warm blankets to those in need. Children’s hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices also receive donations. WUA asks people to simply crochet and send in 7×9-inch sections, but it especially encourages people to work with family and friends to join the sections together and make a big blanket
Pink Slipper Project, Pink Slipper Project despite the name, accepts women and children’s slippers of all different colors. The slippers are donated to women and children in shelters across the country, in hopes of giving something lovely, warm, and handmade to those in tough times.
Hat Box Foundation Hat Box Foundation donates handmade hats to cancer patients across the country. Hat Box wants each and every hat to be unique and made from the heart, and it encourages hats of all different styles, colors, and sizes for women, men, and children. Hat Box partners with hospitals nationwide.
Project Linus Project Linus donates handmade blankets to sick children across the United States. Hospitals, shelters, and social service agencies all receive these donations, and you can search the website for a drop-off location nearest you. Project Linus simply asks that blankets be new, handmade, and washable.
Afghans for Afghans Afghans for Afghans sends handmade hats, blankets, vests, and other goods to the people of Afghanistan. The campaign changes and focuses on different projects throughout the year (right now it’s hats, mittens, and knitted wool socks), and there is an info page that provides helpful cultural tips on what to include and not include in projects.
So many things to make! Hope these ideas bring you some inspiration.
Look for activism ideas in my next post….
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