Friday, December 26, 2008

Giving Back in small ways

I've been thinking about how I could create a small charity project, something that I would work on in my spare time and which would benefit some folks who might need something warm and wooly. One of the knitters on the Ravelry group for Circular Sock Machines wrote about knitting baby hats on his CSM, and that idea stuck with me. So, for several days before Christmas, I made calls around town, trying to find out where the best place to donate some baby hats would be. I thought of the obvious place, the hospital, but our hospital is well funded and there are many charity groups which knit for newborns and cancer victims, and I've knitted for those groups before, myself. Thinking of where a new mother would go for help turned me towards a new health clinic which is somehow tied into social services, so I called them up. One person passed me on to another person, until finally I was able to leave a message for the director of the new pediatrics care department of the clinic.

This morning she called back, the day after Christmas -- pretty good timing as I think about making gifts -- and she was thrilled with the idea. I am their first donor! She told me that they have just opened up a pre-natal care clinic and my baby hats will be very welcome, but could I make them in bright colors, and also, bigger than many of the hospital caps that fit a child only for a short time? This set me to stuttering, as I have not actually made any of these caps yet! But, my sock machine does have three different sized cylinders, and I have oiled up that tension screw where it now makes a difference, so I gamely promised that sure! I'd be glad to make up some samples and drop them by.

So, today I am off to JoAnn's Fabric where I will get some acrylic blend suitable for baby hats. My Ravelry friend recommended Baby Jacquart by Bernat, so I'll begin my samples with that yarn. I will definitely take pictures of the samples before I deliver them.

There are so many people who could use a nice baby hat right now, or a wool cap or scarf or an old sweater or some shoes. Yesterday afternoon we gathered sweaters and shoes up and today my husband is taking them to GoodWill, here in our town. Unbelievably, they are laying off some workers because donations have become scarce. When I think about how lucky I am to be safe and comfortable, then I feel this need to give a little more. I am sure my knitting customers have done this many times over the years, and know that tranquility that comes when you are knitting for a purpose.

So, I will keep my readers posted on the progress of my new private charity project. Maybe you can come up with one of your own, and make a small difference for someone near you.

1 comment:

Dave Daniels said...

Another good charity is the the local veteran's hospital. There are many brave men and women who have fought for our country. Quite a few have lost a leg or two, and would really appreciate a unique and wonderful sock for their one foot, or for their prosthetic. It's a well-appreciated and unique gift. Plus, it's a great way to use up old yarn, and share in the wonders of the CSM. (And I've finally gotten my sister into knitting for the troops now that her son, my nephew, is in the service.)
I applaud you in wanting to find a good cause. You done good!