Sunday, December 5, 2010

new year

2010 will soon be coming to a close and I'm starting to think about next year and where I want to focus my charity efforts.

The group I belong to, Bev's Charity Challenge, is a great encouragement through the year. I am always uncomfortable talking about numbers - the numbers are not important. It is the work, helping people in need, that is important. But one cannot deny that being a part of a group where the sole purpose is doing charity work, and setting goals to help the most people, increases the amount of work done. We are "competitive" or "goal oriented" by nature, I think. Set a goal, beat the goal, beat the other person's goal. LOL The truth of the matter is that even ONE item is a help and everyone should do what they are comfortable doing, both with the time we have available and the finances. Many of us mail items and that does eat up the finances quickly over time.

Anyway, the point I am eventually getting to is that I wanted to be more organized in my giving. I tend to jump right in as things come up, and there is nothing wrong with that, but I am thinking I could eliminate stress by doing a bit more planning and giving some structure, while still being open if God brings a new effort to mind that touches my heart.

The hardest thing for me is remembering what I'm supposed to do with the items. Some ask they be put in bags, some are tagged, some ask that you don't tag, some ask that tags be attached, and some not etc etc I guess that is why some choose one group and focus efforts on that. Then you always know what to do. It's not a bad plan. I wish I could do that, but too many needs call to me. :-)

Of course whenever sending items anywhere you should at the least make sure the coordinator knows who sent them - your name and at least an e-mail, whether tags are included or not. There may be questions or perhaps a compliment and a request as to where the pattern can be found.

So below I have written down some charity efforts I've donated to in the past, with the pertinent details. These are those which accept the items I am best at, and enjoy, making - scarves, hats, squares (and by extension, afghans). All accept 4 ply worsted weight acrylic yarn unless otherwise stated. Baby items can be made with baby yarn as well. To my knowledge these are all working projects, still accepting items - any caveats will be noted since this list is basically to help my memory. :-)

Alzheimer study - lapghans / quilts 36-40", any color, any pattern

The Bridge and Beyond (homeless) - scarves, hats, mittens, socks. gender neutral colors, any size, warm patterns

Dawn at Bev's Charity Challenge (sign up anew each year) - yo-yos, saltines, squares, tails can be left dangling, any color

Crafting for a Cause (Native Americans) - many items accepted, I make scarves and squares/yo-yos/double yo-yos. Sew in tails. Some items mailed to collectors, some to the reservation

Christmas at Sea - scarves, accepted all year but best in fall, include your name and address within the package, patterns available on site (2 crochet ones), masculine colors - use one color throughout, washable yarn. Note to myself: design a seaman's crochet scarf 6 1/2" wide by 46" long and with an 18" ribbing. :-)

HAP (injured soldiers) - 6" x 9" rectangles assembled into afghans, gender neutral, avoid lacy stitches. This is a closed group, no longer accepting new members.

Heartmade Blessings (comfortghans) - 12" squares, ALL tails at least 6" and all left dangling, any color but black, tag each square with at least first name and state.

Kaps4Karing (cancer victims). I'm not sure of their protocols at the moment as it's been a while since I contributed.

Knit Your Bit - scarves for veterans, any size, gender neutral colors, patterns available to use, but any pattern accepted, attach note with fiber content and washing instructions, notes to veterans allowed. (FAQ)

Love Afghans For Pine Ridge Reservation (South Dakota) - squares are assembled into afghans. Pam is very skilled at using all sizes. Wool and wool blends need to be tagged. Full or partial skeins of yarn are accepted as well. Leave at least 4" tails. Pam will sew them in. Patterns should be warm, though grannies are accepted.(Her fave is 12" squares, but any size is accepted.)

Operation Gratitude - This is one I have not participated in before, but hope to in the coming year, making scarves, 5-7" Wide, 45-50" long, accepted September through early December only. Gender neutral colors such as blues, browns, olives, grays, maroon, and black. Soft wool, acrylics, or non-flammable fleece materials accepted, note fiber content on item.

Scarves for Special Olympics (Louisiana) sponsored by Red Heart (Coats and Clark) - 6" x 54-60", each scarf in individual bags, notes allowed but not in bag with scarf, no identifying info on notes, include one 3 x 5 card with name and address in box. Deadline for 2011 scarves is March 4, 2011.

Scarves from the Heart - scarves for cancer patients, the FAQ says, "You may make it any size you like.  Use your own taste as a guideline, someone will be sure to like it."

Share a Square 2010 (Camp Quality for kids w/cancer including one Louisiana) - 6" squares with 12" tail hanging for assembly, tags sent but NOT ATTACHED to squares, deadline April 30, 2011. No more than 150 per person, one for each ghan

SIBOL (Sunshine International Blankets of Love) (U.K. nursing homes) - 6" squares, any design, any color, acrylic, straight edge so they can be assembled. I have not donated to this effort, but want to do so this year. Our friends across the ocean help us quite often and I want to give back to them.

Teeny Tiny Treasures  and God's Tiny Angels - preemie and baby items - I generally send hats.

Threads of Compassion (victims of sexual violence) - scarves at least 5" x 65", any pattern. My thought is that most go to women so feminine patterns would be fine. I've donated to this effort in the past. The web site has not been updated recently, but I have contacted the coordinator and they are going strong, looking for a new webmaster.

Love's Many Cloths - This organization participates in many different efforts. One of those mentioned is my friend Millie's efforts for the Ruth Fernandez Family Residence (for fire victims). Millie also delivers to Visiting Nurse Services. I send her scarves and hats for these projects. Any color, any size from baby to adult.

Now and then an effort comes along that is temporary and I will help out with that. I will continue to do that as time allows.

There is one other thing I would like to do. Some time ago I tried to make the daisy square pattern by Krochet Krystal. She has a yahoo group now. I did not succeed then, but I still have that in the back of my mind and would like to try it again at some point. You have to join the group to get the pattern and you have to make one square for her to assemble with others for charity.

Happy crocheting!

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