How to Use Your Passion for Crafts to Volunteer from Home

July 07, 2022

Yesterday I shared how you can volunteer virtually from home for nonprofits and charities yet still make an impact, either locally or anywhere in the world. With a computer, internet, or smartphone, there are opportunities everywhere.

But can you volunteer from home when your passion is for arts and crafts? Is there a way to use your creativity to make a difference?

Yes, there is!


Now more than ever, crafters are needed for charities whose full support is for the product that only crafters can provide!    

Organizations that need crafters who sew, knit, and crochet

Enchanted Makeovers have projects and programs designed to inspire and empower women and children in shelters and the entire village that supports them. They believe that "beauty heals," and their mission is to transform the physical environment of safe shelters. With a beautiful place in which to live, it sends the message that "you matter and you are worthy."

Within their six programs are opportunities for crafters to donate quilts, pillowcases, handmade soft furnishings, dolls, and more. Projects are categorized by difficulty level, so you can find the right project that fits your skill set. Visit their volunteer page to explore their programs, then click "Explore & Volunteer" for a particular program to get more information about contributions.  

Warm Up, America! Foundation is a national nonprofit that provides hand-knitted and crocheted blankets, clothing, and accessories made by volunteers across the country and donated to people in need. They need volunteers who can donate their time to crochet and knit one or more 7" by 9" sections or entire blankets and accessories. Check their volunteer page to determine their current needs and how you can participate.

Project Linus provides new, handmade, washable blankets to be given as gifts to seriously ill and traumatized children, ages 0-18. They are looking for "Blanketeers" to donate handmade quilts, tied comforters, fleece blankets, crocheted or knitted afghans, and receiving blankets in child-friendly colors. You can find free patterns on their website to get you started. While there is no central bank to send your projects to, Project Linus has local chapters all over the country.

The Anti-Cruelty Society works to raise awareness about the needs of animals, promoting responsible pet ownership and working together to help animals find peace, comfort, and happiness. They provide rehabilitation and treatment, classes and programs from pet loss to pet first aid, and a free behavior helpline to provide access to information about pet care. They invite anyone to utilize their online collection of craft tutorials to create enrichment items to donate to shelter pets, such as cat wands, dog tug toys, and no-sew pet beds. 

Soldiers' Angels is a national organization that provides aid, comfort, and resources to the military, veterans, and their families. Program outreaches include care packages for deployed soldiers, blankets for veterans in VA hospitals, and, just recently, those who have been deployed to European countries like Germany, Poland, Latvia, and Moldova.

Soldiers' Angels need volunteers for their Sewing and Crafting team to lovingly create handmade pieces of comfort. Opportunities are available, whether you are an expert seamstress or a casual hobbyist. 

Encouraging others with handmade cards

My crafting obsession is making handmade greeting cards. I volunteer by making handmade greeting cards and sending them to Scrapbook.com's Cards for Kindness campaign. Handmade cards are organized and distributed to cancer foundations, hospitals, shelters, retirement homes, children's homes, and other organizations in need. (See the Cards for Kindness website for their partner organizations list.)

The cards are used by staff members, counselors, parents, and volunteers who add handwritten messages before giving them to patients, children, and others who need encouragement. A well-crafted, handmade card will become very special mementos to cherish for years to come. 


Other organizations would not only love your handmade cards but also need volunteers to include handwritten messages of encouragement. 

Chemo Angels offer support to those battling a cancer diagnosis and undergoing IV chemotherapy or intensive immunotherapy treatment. A volunteer, called a Card Angel, supports their assigned patient throughout their journey with cards, uplifting messages, supportive words, and positive energy. The encouragement of Angels provides patients the comfort and confidence of knowing that they are not alone in their fight. It is stressed that serious consideration should be taken before applying since this involves a long-term commitment. Find out more about Card Angels and how to apply at their new volunteer page.

The Soldiers' Angels Card Plus team is another team of Soldiers' Angels that support deployed service members, veterans, and their families with encouraging or celebratory cards and notes. This team joins forces with many other Soldiers' Angel Teams to provide cards for service members, veterans, and military families supported by their programs.

Operation We Are Here provides resources for the military community and military supporters. Their website lists several groups where your cards (letters and postcards) are needed to encourage soldiers, here and abroad. There are also opportunities to uplift veterans and the children of current military personnel. For each organization listed, go to their website for more information on how to support them with your handmade cards. 

 

What to remember when donating your crafted items

  1. Ensure you meet all the organization's requirements for volunteers before applying, including any age or time commitments.
  2. Only select projects on our current skills level and completely follow the organization's directions for the specific items they are requesting.
  3. Only donate your best work; give something you would love to receive. Items should be completely finished with new, clean materials. Don't recycle your projects that have mistakes.
  4. Be courteous of the future recipient – ensure your items are clean and free of smoke, fragrance, and pet dander. (Paper items can also collect the smell of smoke) Consider creating a smoke- and pet-free space in your home when creating your projects.
  5. Remember that even as a volunteer, you are an essential member a nonprofit depends on for good work and what is promised.
  6. Don't forget to be an advocate of the organization's mission within your own network.

4 comments:

  1. What a lovely idea! I'm a knitter and would love to contribute. I'll definitely reach out to some of these organizations, thank you for sharing!

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  2. I love how helpful this resource is for sharing all kinds of handmade stuff.Bookmarked this.

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  3. This is great. I’ve been looking for ways to increase my creative side and help others at the same time. Thank you so much for the list of places I can volunteer. ~Cheryl

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  4. Great advice for folks looking for alternative ways to make this world just a little bit better.

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