March: Gallatin Shawls For Pine Ridge Reservation

March has started already, but seeing as I've just finished knitting the Gallatin Scarf and already want to cast on another one, it seems like the perfect knit-along for the month!

WHY THE GALLATIN SCARF?

The Gallatin Scarf, designed by Kris Basta, is perfect for charity makers for many reasons. First, it's free - which we all know is ideal when knitting items you're going to give away!

But more than that, this scarf is perfect for almost every type of charity knitter! Knit with worsted weight yarn on US size 10.5 needles (6.5mm), this is a quick knit that uses less than 200 yards of yarnfrom start to finish.

My favorite part of the Gallatin Scarf? You can make it with just about any fiber yarn you choose! I made my first one (pictured above) in acrylic, but you can make this scarf in wool, and even cotton!

WHY THE PINE RIDGE RESERVATION?

The Pine Ridge Reservation, located in South Dakota, is one of the poorest places in America. With a 90% unemployment rate, people die incredibly young, and live their short lives in crazy terrible conditions. It makes me sad and angry that people live like this anywhere, but that it happens so close to home is especially hard to fathom.

There's a group on Ravelry that constantly donates items for the people living on the reservation, and they request items of all types, sizes, and for a variety of needs. Items can be made from ANY FIBER YOU CHOOSE, so long as you tag your items when you send them!

THE KNIT-ALONG DETAILS

This month, we'll be focusing our efforts on the on-going women's shelter project for the reservation. In an area of extreme poverty and addiction, the women in the shelter have seenmore than I can imagine. By making a scarf in your choice of fibers, you are reminding these ladies that they are seen, they have value, they are loved.

Please knit your scarves with stash yarn, in any fiber you choose. Remember to tag them (we've got a MGR specific tag you can use if you want!) so folks know what they're made of, and then check with the Ravelry group for the shipping address!

And don't forget to follow along all month on Instagram (@makegiverepeat) as we make shawls to send! If you tag yours #makegiverepeat, they might even get featured on our feed!

Knit With Love

Knit With Love is dedicated to providing knit or crochet items to people in need, whether they are homeless, impoverished or sick. We believe the gift of a hand-knit or crochet item provides warmth to people who may have little else, and can also be a tangible showing of love and support that will serve as an encouragement in this difficult time. Every item is donated to a person who greatly appreciates the hand-made gift. As of August 2015, we have donated over 8,000 hand knit and crochet items to people in need in thirty-nine countries. None of this would be possible without our incredible volunteers who work so hard to create beautiful items for so many people in need!

WHAT TO DONATE

We donate knit and crochet items to people ranging in age from newborns to adults living in such a wide variety of climates that virtually any item you wish to make will be given to a person who greatly appreciates it!

Beanies/caps are one of the main items we donate. These go to homeless children and adults throughout America, cancer patients in hospitals, and very impoverished children in orphanages and hospitals abroad, among others.
Blankets are greatly appreciated by cancer patients in hospitals, impoverished babies and children abroad. Many people who have received our hand-made blankets lack adequate shelter, so these blankets provide much needed comfort and warmth!

Scarves and prayer shawls are another main item we donate. Width and length can vary to your own preference, but we prefer scarves that are at least five inches wide. Scarves and prayer shawls are greatly appreciated by homeless people in America, cancer patients in hospitals, and impoverished people abroad.

Sweaters, especially for children, are greatly appreciated by impoverished communities in cold regions. Children coming to orphanages in impoverished locations often have just the clothes on their back.

Miscellaneous items such as bags and purses, stuffed animals, socks and gloves are also greatly appreciated! When we donate to people in need in places such as African countries that are in warmer climates, they enjoy things such as bags and stuffed animals.

MAILING ADDRESS

Knit With Love
32565 Golden Lantern, Suite B, # 190
Dana Point, California 92629

If you have an email address, please include this with your donation so that we can send you a confirmation letter and thank you for your donation!  If your live locally and would like to drop your items off, please contact us and we will schedule a time to meet.

Christmas At Sea

Since 1898, during the Spanish American War, volunteers of the Seamen’s Church Institute have knitted, collected, packed, and distributed gifts to mariners who are miles away from home during the holidays. The gift consists of a handknit garment, a personal letter, and information on SCI’s services for mariners. In addition to this, SCI also includes several useful items like hand lotion, lip balm, and toothbrushes—things difficult to come by when working long stretches on the water.

Knitting groups around the country connect with SCI in weekly knitting meetings at churches and at knitting-sponsored events. Through sites like Ravelry and the Christmas at Sea Facebook Group, the Institute works with hundreds to make the program effective.

The historic name of this volunteer program, Christmas at Sea, only partially describes the work of the people who make holidays a little warmer for mariners. While gift distribution happens during winter months, collection and creation of items happens year round, and while many gifts go to international mariners working "at sea," thousands of gifts also go to mariners working on inland waterways here in the United States.

HELPFUL HINTS

Please use patterns written for the SCI Christmas At Sea project.

Remember to use washable wool or wool blends - your finished items must be machine washable.

All projects require worsted weight yarn, except for socks, which use sock weight yarn.

Gift packaging begins right after Labor Day and continues right up until Christmas. You can send items all year long, but it is most helpful to receive items in the fall.

Remember, most mariners are men, so lighter colors are not recommended.

They CANNOT ACCEPT anything that has fringe, tassels, or poms, as these present a safety hazard.

MAILING ADDRESS

Christmas at Sea
The Seamen's Church Institute
118 Export Street
Port Newark, NJ 07114

Please include your name and address within the package so they can acknowledge its receipt. Also, SCI encourages knitters to include a personal note or photograph.

Red Scarf Project

In 2005, the Orphan Foundation of America (now Foster Care to Success) launched a unique initiative to warm the hearts (and necks) of college-bound foster youth. We began taking donations of handmade red scarves to put into our Valentine’s Day Care Packages.

Word spread quickly around the charitable knitting/crocheting community. In the first year, we took in 3,500 scarves. The following year, that number swelled to over 15,000.

This deluge of generosity was spurred by a grass roots grapevine effect on the internet, thanks to popular knitting blog sites like Now Norma Knits.

GUIDELINES

Please follow these guidelines to ensure quality and ease of sorting for the Red Scarf Project Volunteers:

  • Scarves can ONLY BE SENT between September 15 and December 15. Do not send scarves before or after these dates.
  • Keep quality in mind. Would you give the scarf to your favorite niece or nephew as a gift? If not, it is not appropriate for this project.
  • Scarves should be unisex. With thousands of scarves to sort, it would be almost impossible to match up scarves to an appropriate recipient. Also, today there are a lot of names that could be male or female.
  • Yarn choice - Red is the preferred color. However, this could mean burgundy, cherry, russet, red stripes with other colors, or multicolor hues including red. DK is the preferred yarn weight.

You can send other items with your scarf to brighten a student’s day. Include a personal note of encouragement to keep a student’s spirits up during the cold months. Some of our foster youth say that hand-written notes mean as much as the care package items themselves.

Please secure your note with ribbon or string to the scarf, and you may include your first name, city and state. You can also mention any washing instructions. Care tags may be found on one of our pages.

A gift card from any national chain store is also welcome – Barnes and Noble, Target, Wal-Mart, Starbucks or any fast food chain. FC2S students LOVE gift cards! Please be aware that your gift card may not go to the same recipient as your scarf.

MAILING ADDRESS

Foster Care to Success, Red Scarf Project
21351 Gentry Drive, Suite 130
Sterling, VA 20166

Join the Ravelry group!

The Ships Project

The Ships Project is a great way to make a difference in the lives of those military members who are deployed on the ground or at sea.  Whenever they are away from home, we try to provide "hugs from home" in the form of hand-knit and crocheted hats, slippers, knitted socks, sewn fleece hats, and sewn cool ties.  We also supply warm items to those who have been injured or wounded. 

Since their inception in 2001, when a sailor aboard the USS BATAAN asked for a pair of knitted slippers, The Ships Project has sent more than 580,000 handmade items to people serving on six continents and in every branch of the military, whether on the ground or at sea.

ITEM GUIDELINES

Due to military restrictions, please send items made from 100% wool (or other natural fibers) only. Avoid light colors, pastels, white, and solid tans. Ground troops can ONLY have items made in black or brown.

Please avoid pom poms, i-cord, and other decorative embellishments, as well as Metallica or fun-fur yarns.

JOIN THE GROUP

In order to send items, you must be a member of the Yahoo Group. Please see this page for more information.

ITEMS TO SEND

The Ships Project accepts a variety of items, from hats and slippers to scarves and socks. Please see their "approved patterns" page for some ideas.

Hats For The Homeless

Winter is very hard on the homeless that roam the streets by day and desperately try to keep warm by night. Their plight is especially tough during the Holiday season when they are so alone with no family, no Thanksgiving feast, no warm Christmas cheer from friends, no gifts under a Christmas tree. Many only have faint childhood memories to fill their souls.

Hats for the Homeless grew out of the heart of one young man who cared about those less fortunate. He died suddenly in 1998. Hats for the Homeless was created in his memory to continue the tradition he started.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

You can send individual donations, or visit the Hats 4 The Homeless website to learn more about setting up a collection box at your school, business, church, or hospital!

WHAT THEY COLLECT

H4H collects a wide variety of items including hats, socks, mittens, gloves, and scarves.

MAILING ADDRESS

Hats for the Homeless
905 Main Street
Hackensack, NJ 07601

Poverello Center

The Poverello Center, Inc., an award winning 501(c)(3) organization, advocates for and provides a multitude of services to address and improve the health, well-being, and stability of the homeless and underserved within Missoula, Montana. The Poverello Center, Inc. operates four separate programs addressing the diverse needs of the Missoula community, including the Ryman Street Emergency Shelter, Homeless Outreach Services, The Joseph Residence and The Valor House.

Please send washer/dryer safe items, please! If your items have wool content, even if they are washer/dryer safe, please mark that they have wool content.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Please contact their volunteer e-mail address for locations to drop off cold-weather items! volunteerpov@montana.com