We had our April Charity Crafting night last week at the Oak Park Main Library.. Audrey had a great idea to post our event on Meetup.com and we attracted several new members to our group. All together we had 8 women of all ages come together to craft for charity. We had 1 loom knitter and 3 crocheters working on preemie hats for the University of Chicago Hospitals and The Precious Preemie Project. We had another 4 women working on sewing pillow cases for ConKerr Cancer. It was so fun to have such a diverse group of women come together to craft for charity. The experience level ranged from beginner to experts. It was a joy to see everyone helping each other out and it seems as though everyone got along wonderfully. I’m looking forward to our next Charity Night and if you are in the Chicago area, we would love for you to join us too!
Every couple weeks, we like to feature a crafter that has been a meaningful contributor to the Giving Artfully community.
This week, we would like to introduce you to Cyndy. Cyndy has been a great contributor for Giving Artfully and has made over 100 beautiful items for EEROP, Kathleen’s Hats for Hope Initiative, Random Acts of Kindness for Kids, Outreach to Appalachia and Marine Kids Corps.
Thank you Cyndy for your time and dedication to these different organizations! Your gifts are impacting many lives.
How long have you been crafting and what inspired you to start? I started knitting about 6 years ago. My grandmother had knitted but I never took interest in it when I was a young child. After looking at some of the afghans that she had knitted, I became inspired to take a knitting class.
My youngest daughter was adopted from St Petersburg, Russia at the age of 11 months. She is now 15 years old and is also knitting scarves with me. I was especially thrilled to see that there was a Eastern European organization looking for scarves for the children in orphanages. Being so closely connected to this part of the world, I feel so happy that I am able to give something back.
Favorite type of crafting and some of my favorite projects? I love knitting with super chunky or chunky yarns and large needles. My favorite needles are bamboo and are size 35. I purchase much of my yarn from the etsy site. I love the handloomed yarns and especially those that have a wide variety of color and texture. My favorite projects are scarves and baby blankets. By using large needles and chunky yarn, the project finishes up very quickly. Although I have worked with lower gauge needles, I find that I prefer the almost instant gratification of completing a project in a day or two!
When and why did you start charity crafting? I have always volunteered for different organizations during my years as a stay at home mom…PTA, Girl Scouts, etc. I enjoy helping others and now that my daughters are older, I wanted to find something that I could contribute to. After all, you only need so many scarves living in Florida! My search for an organization that was looking for scarves led me to this site. I have received personal emails thanking me for my contribution from organizations such as Outreach Appalachia . That email has kept my inspiration to contribute going.
What is your favorite part of charity crafting? My favorite part of charity crafting is that I know that my items will be used and cherished by someone who is less fortunate than I. I especially enjoy knitting young children scarves in bright colors as I know that this may be the only new item that they may receive for the upcoming winter months.
Here are some pictures of Cyndy’s beautiful gifts:
We have several new projects posted on Giving Artfully. Thank you again for all the amazing and dedicated crafters that has made this website possible. We are over 1200 committed donations with crafters from over 20 states and Canada. We recently also posted our first international project in Brisbane, Australia. We are still working on updating our site with more functional features.
#1067: Marine Kids Corps: Bibs & Burp Cloths for families of deployed servicemen
#1066: Outreach to Appalachia: lapghans for families in need in the Appalachian Mountains
#1065 & #1064: For the Children of Pine Ridge: mittens and scarves for children participating the Future Generations Ride
#1063: Bryan’s Blankets: blankets for survivors of abuse
#1062: Knit-a-square: squares for AIDs orphans in South Africa
#1061: Stitches from the Heart: hats for newborns
#1060: Knitting 4 Brisbane’s Needy: hats for Brisbane’s Needy
#1059: Precious Preemie Project: hats for preemies
#1058: Simi Valley Hospital: memory boxes for bereaved parents
Visit our website at www.givingartfully.com for over 50 projects that need handcrafted goods!
Today, we would like to feature one of the organizations that has posted needs on our website, The Precious Preemie Project.
The Precious Preemie Project was started by Raquel Hunter. After delivering her baby in the hospital, she saw the tiny babies in the NICU, and something pulled at her heart. She realized that these preemies who were sometimes as small as a pound and did not have clothes available to them. Often times, parents would need to buy doll clothes to fill their baby. Raquel decided she wanted to do something to help and thus the beginning of The Precious Preemie Project.
With each little hand-made hat we want to bring warmth, love and most of all hope to premature babies in intensive care units and their families.
Each month, we donate hand-made hats to hospitals with NICUs (Neonatal Intensive Care Units) in the United States. A small gesture with a big impact.
With 9 hospitals being recipients of these great gifts, the Precious Preemie Project has had a profound impact on the lives of these families. Just last month, they delivered 500 preemie hats. We at Giving Artfully appreciate Raquel and all the volunteers that make these gifts possible.
Check out this video to see the amazing story of Raquel and The Precious Preemie Project:
Please visit Giving Artfully to see how you can help The Precious Preemie Project.
“Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.”
― Ben Carson
We are 5 months into Giving Artfully and over 800 gifts donated to 30 different projects. Thank you so much to a gracious and dedicated crafting community. We wanted to take this chance to showcase some of these amazing gifts.
Don’t forget to visit www.givingartfully.com to find a charity crafting project for you! We still have over 50 projects with over 4300 needs. You can just submit a donor form online or join us for our May/June 2013 Craft-Along.
Each week, we will feature a crafter that has been a meaningful contributor to the Giving Artfully community.
This week, we would like to introduce you to Rachel B. Rachel has been a great advocate for Giving Artfully and has made several beautiful items for The Children of Pine Ridge, Precious Preemie Project, The Easter European and Russian Orphanage Project, Mats 4 Morris, Don’t Be Afraid – I Am Here Bears, and Outreach to Appalachia. Thank you Rachel for your time and dedication to these different organizations! Your gifts are impacting many lives.
Feature Crafter: Rachel B (Wisconsin)
How long have you been crafting and what inspired you to start? I learned to crochet from my mom when I was 9 or so. She was very good at many many crafts, and when I was small it seemed to me that knowing how to do those things was just something all women should do, since it was both fun and useful. I taught myself to knit from books, starting at about age 10. It took me a long time to learn, mainly because the books I had were old and it just didn’t make sense. Later I learned that I need photos or videos to master a new technique quickly. I wanted to learn to knit because I was obsessed with the Little House on the Prairie books, and there is a lot of needlework, etc in those books. Mostly I wanted to make socks like they talked about. I’m still trying to master socks, but I can knit a lot of other things! I think a lot of the passion behind my crafting is I am kind of old fashioned, and pretty practical and feminine and in my mind it all sort of goes together.
Favorite type of crafting and some of your favorite projects? I have knitting and crochet projects in progress all the time. I find my hands prefer me to switch back and forth, and it keeps it interesting since sometimes I can get impatient. I enjoy both the process and product of both types of needlework, but I think when I get right down to it I make things to actually have made something. There are days when I prefer crochet more, and days when I prefer knitting. I like the look and feel of knitting best though. Some of my favorite projects are baby things, hats, and bereavement items for moms. The first two are fun and fast. The bereavement items, it’s not that they are a joy to make, it’s that they are so sad but so necessary.
When and why did you start charity crafting? I liked the idea of charity knitting from the time I learned how to knit and crochet, but I didn’t have the ability to do it back then. I donated my first items in the fall of 2010, some hats to a local drive for warm items. I do it because I feel like it is my responsibility to use my abilities to help. I want to make things, but in order for it to feel like it isn’t a waste of time the items need to be good for something. I also want to help people, it’s my nature. Put the two together and it’s a perfect match!
What is your favorite part of charity crafting? That’s hard to say. I love making things, but I also love sending/donating them. The whole process is fun, from choosing a pattern, to trying it, to putting up my project page… I guess my answer to this question is I love all of it!
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
― Mother Teresa
Since we launched Giving Artfully late last year, we have been blown away by the generosity of the crafting community. Knowing that time is often are greatest asset, I am truly grateful to the many people I have met thru Giving Artfully that haven taken the time to make these beautiful items.
I plan to weekly share some pictures of the amazing items made by the Giving Artfully Community.
Each week (typically Mondays), we will feature a crafter that has been a part of the Giving Artfully community.
This week, we would like to introduce you to Bernadette, who resides in British Columbia. She has knitted and sewed over 50 items for projects including Knots of Love, ConKerr Cancer, Marine Corps Kids and Kids Cancer Connection. Thank you Bernadette for your gracious gifts that we know are greatly appreciated.
Feature Crafter: Bernadette (British Columbia, Canada)
We just added two new projects to Giving Artfully.
Bryan’s Blankets – In memory of her son, Renee would like to volunteers to donate blankets to The Whole in the Wall Gang Camp – a camp for terminally ill children founded by Actor Paul Newman.
Crochet 4 A Cause – Crochet 4 A Cause crochets hats and clothing for disadvantaged children in communities around the world. The current project is to make items for Houston Children’s Charity and also the Teen Mom Empowerment Foundation.
Visit our website at www.givingartfully.com for more information about these new projects. You can search for projects by craft, location, group or item. We have over 50 different projects from 40 different organizations.
Thank you for visiting the Giving Artfully blog. Its been four months since launching Giving Artfully and it has been an amazing experience. We have fulfilled over 500 donations for 20 different organizations and along the way, I have met so many amazing crafters.
Now that we are up and running, I wanted to be more diligent about blogging to keep followers more informed about Giving Artfully. My goal is that this blog will
- Informed about new opportunities,
- Showcase the amazing work by our gracious crafters,
- Highlight the many wonderful organizations needing handcrafted goods,
- Share stories about how these gifts impact people around the world and
- Showcase some amazing crafters.
- Share patterns for various projects
My plan it to weekly feature a crafter (Mondays), community organization (Wednesday), and finished projects and stories (Friday). In the days between, I’ll keep readers updated on milestones and opportunities.
Visit us as at www.givingartfully.com for opportunities.