Well, I generally think that charity begins with MEEEEE. OK, that sounds pretty bad, but as the recipient of grants and money raised to pay for my wheelchair, assistance from my parents for chair maintenance and other mobility aids, and the outrageously high cost of living as a disabled person, I do get somewhat fed up with people who come asking me to donate money to this charity or that. Not that I don’t want to give, but well, what spare money I have generally goes to charities involved in finding treatments or cures for my plethora of diseases. (OK and for history & preservation things too, but that’s much farther down the priority list, financially.)
That said, I do WANT to help out others, it’s just that I have a lot more time than money. So now that I am finally able to knit basic things on my looms, I am ready to start knitting for those who — well, may or may not be not less fortunate than me, but still need nice things to make them feel special and to know that people care. I *KNOW* how it feels to think that the world has abandoned you, and how even a small gift from a random stranger can totally brighten your week. So I want to give back. Of course, I can’t say that this is entirely unselfish — crafting makes me happy and is good for my mental health, so I am getting a lot out of it, too. I’m just going to have to watch my pennies so that I can make sure that I always have enough yarn to match my semi-endless amount of time.
So, the first charity project is to make a child’s afghan for the Tricot du Coeur (Knitters of the Heart) project which this winter is making afghans and quilts to support a camp for disabled children in North Carolina. The kids get to take their blankets home with them, so they need a LOT of blankies to go around! I don’t yet know what pattern or anything I will use, but someone pointed me to a good deal on a washable wool/acrylic blend yarn in eye-bleedingly bright colours (hey, they said bright!) so I have some yarn on the way (I’m nearly out, it’s a travesty!!!) for that project and also some discounted novelty yarn to make some magic scarves for any ladies I may choose to gift 🙂
I’m always on the lookout for good causes to knit for (I prefer disability/illness over shelters but will probably get around to everyone eventually) and also good prices on yarn that I can use for these projects. It has to be affordable, but not scratchy or nasty. (NO Red Heart! That stuff makes my skin itch so I can’t cope with using it, let alone give it to anyone…except their Light n Lofty which is OK)
My skills are still pretty meager, but as my mom puts it, it’s the love that counts, not the fanciness of the pattern. Anyway, I don’t know if my yarn will get here before I leave for the holidays, so it may be 2008 before I wield my looms for good, but I plan to keep charity projects as high on my priority list as all of the friends I plan to inundate with gifts in the coming year (as a way to say thank you for standing by me through last year’s spell of worse-than-ever health).