I am very active and involved in my community and love to give back when I can. There is so much as a crafter that I can do to make a difference, and I enjoy doing so.
My mom is a cancer survivor, and my aunt is currently facing her own battle. Many of my loved ones and friends have been touched by this awful disease, so one of the things that is near and dear to my heart is making chemo caps. There are several organizations that do this. A few of them are: Crochet for Cancer, Knots of Love, and Halos of Hope.
Another near and dear cause for me is NICU babies. I have had two nephews in NICU and several friends that have had babies that had to be in NICU. Most NICUs gladly accept donations of handmade hats but it is important to contact your local NICU to find out if they have specific guidelines that need to be followed. Rosie's Cozies is a great place and resource for patterns and hats. There are several great crochet designers that offer free preemie hat patterns to help make sure that this sweet little ones can have cute hats!
Handmade for Hope is a great non-profit organization that reaches out to love on those who are in crisis and just to provide comfort in difficult times. They do this through volunteers all over. There are several ways that they do this and one of them is using afghan squares contributed by volunteers and assembling them into afghans for families or individuals. Please go check them out. And if you are a crocheter, go check out the patterns in their Ravelry store. All of the proceeds from pattern sales go to help those in need.
And this year I am trying to get enough hats made to send to one of my sisters-in-law to distribute to the homeless in her area. She uses her business, and her church youth group distributes bags of toiletries and other items.
Those are some of my favorites. If you have any, please let me know about them in the comments!