Christmas is just around the corner, the season of giving. During this time of year, I feel acutely aware that I am blessed. I have food on my table, a roof over my head. I have friends and family, a warm bed, and discretionary income to buy what I need. I can’t think of anything I lack, not anything important anyway.
My needs — and most of my wants — are met which makes me more sensitive to the fact that not everyone is so fortunate. There are many in the world that lack the basic necessities of life. Even here in the USA, a land of plenty, there are many who do not have warm coats and hats for winter, or blankets for their beds. Others lack the warmth of family and friends, people who add that personal touch to one’s life with their gifts and handmade treasures.
Crocheting with a Cause
Last year the gals in my crochet group decided we wanted to make a difference with our creativity. One of the gals found a shelter that had a need for hats, gloves, and scarves for men, women, and children. We pulled out our yarn stashes and made up sets of crocheted goodies to help those in need ward off the cold temps of northern Indiana and lower Michigan.
Lately, I’ve had several people contact me and ask if I want their yarn stash. They were downsizing or clearing out space and wanted to give the yarn to someone who would make use of it. I accepted their yarn supplies with the idea to use them for a good cause.
Here are some ways that crafters can use up their yarn stashes and donated supplies while making a difference in people’s lives ….
Contact nursing homes in your area and ask if residents would use/appreciate some small lapghans to cover their legs as they ride around in their wheelchairs. There are a lot of elderly people in homes that don’t have family or friends who can visit. These people must feel incredibly lonely during the holiday season. Nursing home staff can distribute your blankets to those who don’t have family visiting over the holidays. A 40 x 48 blanket should be plenty big enough to cover a lap and only takes a few skeins of yarn, or 6 – 8 partial rolls.
Here’s one of the lapghans I crocheted for a nursing home this year. I love the colors of autumn leaves.
Reach out to the guidance counselor at a local school and ask if there are any kids who need hats, scarves, and mittens. In our area, there are always kids who don’t have them because their family’s finances won’t allow.
Call the local homeless shelter and see if they distribute hats, scarves, and mittens to residents. We’ve made oodles of scarves and hats for the shelter in our area! Here’s a picture of the latest delivery my friend Pat made to a local shelter.
Is there an organization or church in your area that helps provide Christmas gifts for families in need? Maybe they could use some hats and scarves, or you could donate crocheted amigurumi dolls or crocheted animals for disadvantaged children. Here’s a pattern that my nieces love.
Look around you and take notice. Is there someone who might be lonely or simply alone this holiday season? What about the elderly woman at church whose kids live out of state? Or the elderly man that’s always at the diner when you stop by to get take-out. He seems to want to chat, like he doesn’t have too many people to talk to. What about the recently widowed or divorced person who is undoubtedly still dealing with feelings of grief and loss? The holidays can be rough for people in those positions. A handmade gift says, “I care about you,” in a way that a box of chocolates or a store-bought Christmas card never could. It doesn’t have to be big or complicated, just heartfelt.
Did you get some ideas? Do you have some other thoughts on how to use your crochet talents to bless someone else this season? Share them in the comments below! I’m always looking for new ways to share my gifts with others.
I hope you’ll consider using your creativity and talent to bless someone less fortunate this year. A crocheted blanket will warm the lap and heart of an elderly shut-in. A homemade hat and scarf can lessen the sting of a bitter cold day and make the world seem a kinder place to someone who’s struggling. A child with very few material possessions would love a darling crocheted animal or doll.
To you they are just a few leftover yarn supplies and some time. To them, your crocheted gift can ward off desperation and despair, bringing them some much deserved joy and peace this holiday season.
Get out there and crochet with a cause!