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Charity knitting?
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May 17, 2011 13:58:50   #
Kathie (a regular here)
I thought I was going a good deed when I knit for charity so I was knitting hats and mittens for people in the local homeless shelter and also for children in a local school in a poor section of our city. The director of a homeless shelter remarked that the residents often would sell the hand knit items. The principal of the school also told me that the kids would wear the mittens and hats home and the parents would keep them and sell them so they no longer allow the children to take the items home. They can wear them during recess. I'm thinking I would be better off buying these items at the local Wal Mart so the people I'm trying to help would actually use them. It would be cheaper and I could probably donate twice as many for the same amount of cash spent. Has anyone else encountered these problems and if so what did you do about it. I really want to help people who need it.
May 17, 2011 17:09:12   #
I wouldn't take it personally--people in dire financial straits need cash, and handknits sell for a lot. I think you're right to buy mittens and hats from Wal-Mart and donate them instead of knitting them yourself. It sounds awful to say, but I'd save the handknits for folks who are needy but not desperate: hospital patients, folks in retirement communities, etc etc.
May 17, 2011 17:28:17   #
I knit preemie hats and blankets that I know go a particular
hospital in Dallas and are used. I do blankets for Project Linus and know that they go to children in crisis and are used. I do chemo hats and take them to the cancer center where I was a patient, and know they are used and the same goes for lap robes and such given to a hospice. I have not
had dealings with a school or the homeless shelter.

I am probably not generous enough to make gloves - and - for charity knitting, I do not use expensive yarns (well, maybe a little on the chemo hats for softness) so I can't imagine anyone selling my items. I also don't do real complicated fair isle or patterns.

You could redirect the knitting that you are doing or, difficult though it is, just let go when you gift the item. It is what it is, but how very sad that a parent would take an item away that was meant to give their child warmth and comfort.
May 17, 2011 17:34:41   #
I never thought about that happening. However, most of my charity knitting is for things like a church auction. I have also sent a lot of 100% wool items overseas. Afghans for Afghans is a good charity and there's an orphanage in Kazakhstan where I know the warmth is really appreciated (and they can't accidentally "felt" the clothes b/c they have no washing machines or hot water. Go to the Lion Brand website and click the "charity" button.
May 17, 2011 18:23:51   #
I knit hats for Cancer doctors. (As I battled cancer for 3 years with chemo once a week, I know how important some of the hats made by others made me feel.) None are ever turned away. Some like wool, some cotton, some silks. I make hats with whatever yarn I have. And everytime I deliver more hats, the nurses ask how I am and how thankful they are for my hats.
May 17, 2011 18:58:55   #
karen malik
I thought knitting scarfs and hats for our homeless mission whould be a nice way of giving back. I have several bags full that I have completed this past year since I retired. But from these emails it seems that my efforts are for want. I'm not sure whether or not I should continue my efforts.
May 17, 2011 19:11:15   #
Perhaps there's even more merit in good works that are unacknowledged and/or unappreciated!
May 17, 2011 19:43:11   #
jacqui c
I have been making preemie and new born hats for our local hospital, when I fill a bag we take them up.. But I also make hats & mittens for our Church Fair and the giving tree at church. They go to the town welfare department. I find it rewarding to be able to do my little part. Most of my yarn is donated by our church members. I make between 5 & 8 pair of mittens a week. Unemployed, it's either knit or eat all that stuff I shouldn't. Have a great evening. jacqui c
May 18, 2011 06:47:26   #
Yes, I know that happens but I will still continue to knit for charities because it's the right thing to do for myself and I enjoy it. I don't use expensive yarns...mostly Red Heart...although many on here have negative remarks about such cheap yarns. It is what it is...even in senior homes and hospitals things disappear. But the one thing I will not do is pick a name from a Christmas tree and shop from a child's wish list because the parents return the toys after the holidays for the $. How disappointing for the child to receive and then have it taken away.
May 18, 2011 07:40:36   #
I knit with the Manatee County FL Knitter's and Crocheter's Guild. We have a distribution to charities 4 or 5 times a year. We've quit donating to some charities that have a Thrift Shop connected to it when we've seen our items for sale in the Thrift Shop. Some of the donations we make are preemie and infant hats to the hospital, children's items to the battered women's shelter, hats to the homeless shelter, lap robes to indigent nursing homes, baby items to the un-wed mother maternity homes, and afghans to the VA hospital. We only donate locally and save postage to put back into yarn. Charity crafting is so rewarding.
May 18, 2011 07:52:22   #
I agree with all the ladies here. It is sad when you put your heart into something just to have it sold for what ever that want to buy. Every year I watch for items at walmart to go on clearance. This year I was able to get hats and mittens for 1$ each. They were cheep enough that I could give them without the worry that my hard labor is not being used for what I made them for. Instead I now I only give to cancer centers, NICU's, nursing homes and ect. I know that the people there will use them and will enjoy the love and warmth they provide.
As a special note. Each of the items that I make I say a prayer with. Each stitch holds a little letter that makes up the whole prayer. Of course this is a prayer not real letters. God bless all the givers in the world. Esp we knitters. :lol:
May 18, 2011 08:23:33   #
There's nothing like the feeling you get when you make something and give it away, no matter where. It kind of spoils it when something like selling it happens because you put so much love in the project while knitting it. The charity I knit for is Bridging People and Places. THey have several projects.
1. Chemo hats
2. Hats and blankets for preemies
3. Teddy bear sweaters for bears given to kids at Double H Ranch(kids with life threatening diseases, a Paul Newman camp) and others who need a hug.

If you are looking for a charity, this one is genuine. Google it and the site will come up. They have free patterns. I make at least 100 bear sweaters a year as I only knit these in the summer. Check it out.
May 18, 2011 08:40:00   #
I belong to some Yahoo groups and we do crochet and knit for different charities. One is the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. They are very poor and can use anything that we send.
We also do things for other people. I have sent things to nursing homes, hospitals, etc.
I have also made afghans that were raffled off to raise money for the homeless, ALS, breast cancer, etc. I never think twice about giving to charity.
I cannot take anything off my taxes for all I do. I use the short form and my accountant told me that I cannot take tax credit for it.
But, I don't do it so that I can have money taken off my taxes. I do it because it makes me feel good to do things for others.
May 18, 2011 08:44:00   #
I make afghans and give them to the local Good Will, the money they raise will help someone. Also any of my other projects that didn't quite suit me although perfectly good other wise also get donated there. There were a couple of hats made this last winter that had to be labeled "hand wash" though.
May 18, 2011 09:01:18   #
I was told a long time ago, that once you give a gift it's theirs to do what they want with it. As sad as it is you know you did it from the knidness of your heart, maye they bought food or meds with the money, we have to look on the good side or no one will give. You are thanked by many people for you will to give to those in need. Bless you
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