Knitting for charity can reduce your stress levels while keeping your hands and mind active.

By Emily VanSchmus
March 24, 2020
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This week, consider picking up a pair of knitting needles to keep your hands and mind active. We already know that knitting can be good for your mental health, but if I’ve learned anything by stress-knitting, it’s that I really don’t need one more scarf. Luckily, there are dozens of charities that will accept your finished knitting or crocheted projects, which means taking your mind off the news for a few hours can do good in more ways than one. The best part about these charities is that you don’t have to donate a large sum of money to make a difference in your community: Just knit a blanket, scarf, or hat and donate it through the charity of your choice to provide warmth or comfort to someone in need. 

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As you practive social distancing preventative measures, leverage the supplies you already have at home (like knitting needles and that stash of yarn you've been saving for a rainy day). If you do need supplies, try out Michaels’ new free curbside pickup service: It's totally free and you never have to leave your car. Most of their yarn is on sale right now (skeins of Loops & Threads yarn are marked down to just $1.99), so you can make projects no matter what your budget is. If you're a beginner knitter or crocheter, Michaels also has knitting needles (such as 14-Inch Straight Needles, $5.79) and crochet hooks (such as Aluminum Hook Set, $4.99) to help you get started.

Here are five charities to consider donating to. Of course, you can also contact your local hospitals and shelters and ask what their needs are too. Be sure to check how each charity is collecting supplies during this time as well.

Project Linus

Over the last 25 years, Project Linus has donated more than 7 million knitted and crocheted blankets to children who are ill or are survivors of trauma. You can donate completed blankets, drop off supplies, or volunteer your time coordinating and delivering the blankets directly to the children. The organization accepts all kinds of blankets, so bust out your knitting needles or start arm knitting a cozy blanket. When you’re done, find a blanket drop-off location near you or get in touch with your local chapter.

Crochet for Cancer

Send some extra comfort to a stranger battling cancer by donating a cozy hat to Crochet for Cancer. The non-profit delivers warm knitted and crocheted caps to adults and children who are going through chemotherapy. If you’re a beginner, a knitting loom (such as Knit Quick Loom Set, $15.99, Michaels) is easy to use and can help you quickly whip up hats of all sizes. The organization also has more than 20 different crochet patterns listed on their website for experienced crafters.

Snuggles Project

Right now, shelters are encouraging people to foster dogs to get them out of shelters and into a loving home. If you’re not in a position to bring a pup into your home right now, you can still help by knitting or crocheting a blanket to donate. The blankets will be used to provide comfort and warmth to crated animals. The Snuggles Project has crochet, knit, and no-sew patterns that make it easy for anyone (of any skill level!) to get started. 

Magic Yarn Project

Take your knitted caps up a notch by adding braids, princess hair, and pirate caps. The Magic Yarn Project collects fun crocheted headwear for children battling cancer to help keep them entertained during their time in the hospital. The organization is all about making the crochet process fun, too: They have live workshops and creative patterns on their site to help you get started.

Soldiers’ Angels

Soldiers’ Angels is an organization that provides support for veterans, active military members, and their families by organizing volunteers and various kinds of donations. They have several teams of volunteers, including a sewing and crafting team that makes and delivers handmade blankets to military members. Knit, crochet, or sew a blanket for a soldier deployed overseas, or make a baby blanket to be donated to an expecting military family.

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