Sunday, October 4, 2009

Knitting for Charity

I love knitting for charity. There is something gratifying about making something as simple as a hat or a pair of mittens or a washcloth that is received with so much joy. I like thinking about the person who may receive the article I am knitting and wonder what his/her life is like. Will she be comforted by this hat? Will he feel like someone cares when he puts his mittens on? I've knit for various charities, but the one that I keep going back to is called Sylvia's Place in NYC. It is a homeless shelter for LGBTQ youth. I have a soft spot for them in my heart.

I have noticed a phenomenon with knitters. Most knitters tend to be charitable. They seem to jump at a chance to knit for someone in need. Maybe their homes and drawers are overflowing with knitwear that they have a desire, nay, a need to knit, but fear that if they knit one more thing that their house is going to look like it threw up a gigantic hair ball. One could simply say, "Then stop knitting." But those are the words of a non-fiber person. There is something comforting and calming about knitting. Some would call it an addiction. But the truth is that the meditative qualities of knitting feed our endorphins (and no, I have no scientific proof to back that up. I'm just going with it, so just accept that it is true.) It is my hope as I knit and feel the relaxation that eases over me that the receivers of my knitted goods will also find that serenity when they wear and use the things I offer.

If you have never participated in a charity knit, look on Ravlery. There are hundreds of charity opportunities. Everything from snugglies for dogs to hats for the homeless. There are cancer hats, preemie hats, mitts and sweaters, demise blankets for premature babies, lap blankets for elderly or those suffering from a myriad of diseases, and there is even a charity to make bandages for those with leprosy. I'm sure there is a charity that will speak to every knitter. Think how good you will feel about yourself. Think how good you will make someone else feel. Think of the good that will do the world.

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