One of the greatest joys of crochet is that you can use your hands and minimal materials to make gifts that make others smile. In the case of donating to charity, you may actually be helping to save or significantly improve someone’s life. But where should you donate your handmade crochet items? This article provides some of the best options for charities that accept crochet. Remember that their needs and regulations are constantly changing so it’s important to be sure to check their latest updates before you begin crafting!
1. Red Scarf Project
Foster Care to Success is an established organization that helps lend support to foster children who head to college. This transition can be tough for any student and especially for young adult who might not have any family support behind them. There are many things that you can do to help including donating to their Red Scarf Project. They accept crochet scarves in any shade of red, fringe optional, sized between 5″ and 8″ wide and about 60″ long. Note that scarves are only accepted during the last four months of every calendar year; they are given to students in a Valentine’s care package. The organization’s Student Care Package program offers a great way to make a difference by donating other small items as well.
Other places to donate crochet for foster children and children in need:
- Project Linus. This great organization accepts “new, handmade, washable blankets to be given as gifts to seriously ill and traumatized children, ages 0-18.”
- Project Night Night. Donate blankets and stuffed toys “to homeless children from birth to pre-teen who need our childhood essentials to have a concrete and predictable source of security.”
- Binky Patrol. This is an “All volunteer, national, non-profit organization making and distributing homemade blankets to children born HIV+, drug-addicted, infected with AIDS or other chronic & terminal illnesses, those who are abused, in foster care or experiencing trauma of any kind.”
2. Sunshine International Blankets of Love
Sunshine International Blankets of Love (SIBOL) accepts crochet blankets for donation to elderly residents living in care homes. It is a way to let these people know that they are not forgotten, that someone out there cares and wants them to be comfortable. Crochet shawls are also accepted for this project as are crochet butterflies which are added to the blankets. Donations are accepted from March – November. Make sure to check out all of the latest details on the website.
If you love to make crochet baby items then this charity might be for you. Carewear accepts a wide variety of handmade baby items for donation to many different hospitals. They accept hats, booties, blankets and more include preemie items.
Other places to donate crochet for babies:
- Bundles of Love. Help “assist Minnesota families in need by providing handmade baby clothing, bedding and basic care items for their newborns.”
- Knitting Rays of Hope. Crochet a hat for a baby in the NICU or otherwise in need.
4. Operation Gratitude
Support the troops by making crochet hats and scarves for Operation Gratitude. They prefer fairly neutral colors, with scarves that are a maximum of 4″ wide and 36″ long and do not include fringe. These items go into care packages (150,000+ sent annually!) to a diverse group of military members including those who are deployed, new members, veterans, wounded members and the family members of these people.
Other places to donate crochet for the military:
- The Ships Project. Donate crochet hats and slippers to members of the military who are deployed on ground or at sea. They have approved patterns and colors along with specific shipping deadlines (rolling dates) so check the site for current details.
- Soldier’s Angels. “The Soldiers’ Angels Sewing and Crafting Team provides lovingly created handmade pieces of comfort and support to veterans, deployed service members and their families.”
- Knit Your Bit. Crochet a scarf for donation to “veterans’ centers, hospitals, and service organizations across the country”.
5. Halos of Hope
Many people enjoy making crochet hats and they are a perfect item to donate to people who going through chemo treatment for cancer. Halos of Hope accepts crochet chemo caps for babies age 6 months and up as well as for children, teens and adults. These should be soft hats that are long enough to cover the ears of the patient; patterns are suggested on the website. These are donated to more than 45o different cancer centers.
Other places to donate crochet for cancer patients:
- Knots of Love. They say, “our mission is to warm the hearts & heads of children + women + men + veterans going through chemo.”
- Crochet for Cancer. This “is a Christian volunteer based non-profit that donates handmade chemo caps to cancer centers for patients coping with hair loss.”
- Hat Box Foundation. They have a “mission to make and distribute FREE hand-made hats to people with cancer and others in need.”
- Feel Better Friends. Crochet dolls for children who are going through chemo treatment.
- Knitted Knockers. Crochet a breast prosthesis for a woman who has undergone a mastectomy.
6. Bridge and Beyond
People living outdoors or in homeless shelters frequently have a need for the basic clothing items to help them stay warm. Bridge and Beyond accepts crochet scarves, mittens, hats and slippers for this purpose. They also accept crochet washcloths and afghans. This organization helps people in need in the Central Ohio region.
Other places to donate crochet for the homeless:
- From Ewe to You. This is a year-round charity collecting a variety of crochet donations for people in need. They also accept donations for animals in need!
- Handmade Especially For You. Donate scarves to women who are living in domestic violence shelters.
7. Afghans for Afghans
Afghans for Afghans works with relief agencies to provide handmade items to people in need in Afghanistan. They accept crochet blankets as well as accessories and clothing. Note that they run campaigns periodically and only accept donations at that time.
Other places to donate crochet for distribution around the world:
- Knit-a-Square. This organization accepts crochet blanket squares for donation to “abandoned and vulnerable children and AIDS orphans in southern Africa”.
- Mother Bear Project. This group “is dedicated to providing comfort and hope to children affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations, by giving them a gift of love in the form of a hand-knit or crocheted bear.”
- Wool-Aid. “Create warm woolen garments for children who live in the coldest climates and have the least access to resources.”
8. Warm Up America
One of the most well-established and popular organizations to donate crochet items is Warm Up America. They work with a variety of different organizations to help people through a “variety of social service agencies, including homeless shelters, battered women’s shelters, American Red Cross chapters, veterans homes, senior centers, hospices and religious organizations”. They accept crochet blankets and blanket squares, scarves, baby clothing and hats for adults.
Other places to donate general crochet to those in need:
- My Recovery Buddy. “Founded as a way to help people through the rough patches they are going through – whether it’s battling addictions, disorders, trauma, or medical or mental illness”, this group accepts crochet “buddies” so people don’t feel alone in recovery.
- Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation. “Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota is home to the Oglala Sioux Tribe”. These are families living in poverty who have a great need for handmade items. They accept a variety of items.
9. Snuggles Project
The Snuggles Project accepts crochet donations for animals living in shelters to help them feel more comfortable, safe and cozy. It also helps shelter volunteers and workers, not to mention visitors, to feel more comfortable in a less-industrial, homier setting. Snuggles Project has a worldwide directory of animal shelters and the donations they are seeking.
Other places to donate crochet for animals:
- Comfort for Critters. This organization accepts blankets for shelters animals that go home with them when they get adopted.
- WildCare’s Baby Bird Nest Campaign. When a baby bird is orphaned and ends up in a hospital it needs a yarn nest to keep it safe.
10. Miscellaneous Specific Charities
The following charities accept donations for specific groups:
- The Pink Slipper Project. Crochet pink slippers for women in domestic violence shelters to give them comfort and hope.
- LifeSource Wrapped in Hugs. Crochet a wrap to give to an organ / tissue donor.
- Christmas at Sea. “The Seamen’s Church Institute invites you knit or crochet a garment to warm mariners’ hearts and bodies this winter.”
Find Other Charities
There are several great places online to locate additional charities that are seeking knit and crochet donations. These include:
- CGOA. This is an alphabetical listing of nationwide organizations accepting crochet donations.
- The Crochet Crowd. This is an interactive map showing places that accept crochet donations.
Or Donate Crochet Locally
These crochet charities may have local chapters or you may need to ship the items. If you want to donate locally, some of the best places to check with in your area include hospitals, schools, daycares, domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, counseling centers, nursing homes, animal rescues and churches.