I am not going to rehash the news but let us face facts, Americans need a way to pull together and Fiber artists may just have a way forward through charities such as Warm-Up America. With a 26 year history behind it, Warm-Up America is an ocean of knitters, crocheters and sewists who have a goal of healing.
I remember the first time I saw a Warm-Up America donation box in JoAnn Fabric and Crafts stores. I really did not know anything about WUA so I picked up a brochure to learn more about their goals. It seemed like a lot of work to take squares from all around the world and sew them together into blankets. However, as volunteer coordinator for 2 charities, I learned very quickly that fast finish projects that bring people from all around the country and indeed the globe together, are an amazing force for hope. Imagine taking squares from all corners of the country, and sewing them together to make one blanket that represents us all! What a great concept. At the time of the writing of this blog WUA offers several ways to contribute and offers excellent suggestions on creating crafting groups. Spectacular.
Current projects at WUA include
I don't think I have to tell you how difficult this past year has been on the United States of America, indeed the world. Natural disasters, fires, accidents, conflict... it's been quite a ride. However, fiber artists choose to focus on what we can do to help. WUA is a close "knit" organization reaches out to those groups listed above, forms partnerships, and then distributes it's donations based on a first come basis. "The Foundation maintains a request list of charitable agencies, which provide services to homeless, battered women's shelters and people in need. As afghan blankets are received at the Foundation, they are shipped to the agency on the top of the list. Contact is maintained with the agencies on the Foundation's database before and after shipping the afghans." warmupamerica.org/howWUAworks.html WUA put out a call for afghans to be distributed after hurricane Harvey, (an ongoing project) word spread quickly throughout the fiber arts community on facebook. Because the track record of WUA is so trusted people naturally began to contribute immediately. This is the kind of track record all of us who are volunteer coordinators can only hope to establish! Of course financial donations are accepted please see the WUA website for details.
Does WUA only accept afghan or afghan squares? No! :) They will accept any new, handmade winter warm item from hats to socks, as you no doubt noticed from their Made with Love project. The Frequently Asked Questions on the WUA website clears up what they accept and what they do not accept. Caps, mittens, scarves, gloves, socks, and baby caps are all accepted. In fact Warm-Up America has patterns both on their website and on Ravelry for items you can donate to WUA. No doubt if you look around on Ravelry or google you will find other "unofficial" patterns not listed on the website or on Ravelry. Choose your favorite pattern but make sure it follows the parameters for donation to WUA
We have all heard that desperate times call for desperate measures, but I say desperate times call for intense devotion to peace and altruism. If you are a fiber artist there are several worthy causes to which you can donate. Ask friends, ask on social networking or if those avenues do not work read the Charity Idea Outpost blog postings here on Out of the Parc Designs. Every Sunday I attempt to help fiber artists find new and exciting ways to donate. Thank you for being willing to share of yourself, to give, to offer hope, to stand in the gap for others. From the bottom of my heart.
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**Opinions expressed on blogs about which I write are the opinion of the blog authors and DO NOT necessarily reflect my own opinion.