Sometimes there are no words. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to make things better. And I think many times, when your heart is breaking, crocheters (and crafters in general) want to do something. Anything…. That’s when many of us pick up our hooks, and we crochet from the heart…
Crochet from the Heart
For as long as I’ve been crocheting, I love seeing someone blessed by something I have made, especially if it puts a smile on their face. And when I first began my design work, I tried to continue both, but slowly my giving just went by the wayside. I’ve still made some preemie hats and gifts, but not nearly as many as my heart tugs at me to do.
About a month ago, a little 5 year old boy at our church was diagnosed with brain cancer. In a matter of a couple weeks he went from having a tumor to the cancer encasing his entire brain. The doctors said they had never seen anything spread so fast and said he had, “the worst, of the worst, of the worst….” They started chemo and radiation in a matter of a few hours. And our entire church prayed, and prayed….and we’re still praying. It has spread through our community and there are so many people praying for this little boy and his family (he also has a 2 year old and infant sister at home).
When I feel helpless in situations like this, I could just sit here and cry. Cry for his parents because my heart goes out to them. Cry for him, because no one – never mind a 5 year old little boy – should have to endure anything like this. Cry for anyone who has to go through something like this. Instead I picked up my hook and decided to do what I know how to do best. I decided to make a prayer blanket. After all, I wondered, why does it have to be a prayer shawl? The concept is to pray over the person while you’re making it. And pray I have been.
If you’re a crocheter, there are so many ways to help – so many charities that accept donations. One thing I know is this:
Community is at the heart of it all.
I have realized that each and every charity that I have donated to, I somehow have a personal investment in. (You don’t need to, this is just me personally.) Here are a list of just a few types of charities I have donated to. There are many more than you can reach out to.
Preemies – There are dozens of organizations that take preemie hats, blankets, as well as burial gowns for those who have preemies, micro-preemies, have had a stillborn, or lost a child at birth. You can also donate to your local hospital.
I have a personal heart for these women. Years ago I began Wrapped in Love Ministries and was making blankets (and hats) for mother’s of preemies. (You can read my story here.)
Pregnancy Centers – Some pregnancy crisis centers give an ultrasound before you have an abortion. Many of those women choose to keep the baby once they see the life inside them. What better gift than to walk out with a handmade blanket/hat to start your journey into motherhood?
My friend Ruth Tilley donated hundreds of blankets every year (like 300-500 blankets every year!) to Arlington-Mansfield Pregnancy Center (now called Metroplex Women’s Clinic). When she passed away I wanted to carry on her legacy and donate to them (obviously not nearly as many as she did). I want to make this a priority and start doing this again.
Cancer/Chemo Hats – Again, there are so many great organizations that take these and distribute them, or you can donate them to a local cancer hospital, if you have one nearby.
You can make chemo hats for all ages, and so many of you do, but my heart is drawn to children. I had to Break My Own Rules for this little girl from our church (who by the way is in remission!).
Homeless Shelters – Many homeless shelters will take hats and scarves. Many will take blankets. For the ones that won’t, you may be able to donate to a local soup kitchen that is set up near the homeless shelter.
I have a personal heart tug for this that I just can’t talk about because it hurts too much. Just know that someone’s mother/sister/brother would be forever grateful knowing that someone took the time to make something to keep their loved one warm. It would mean the world to them.
Veterans – There are a few organizations that distribute blankets to VA hospitals, or if you have one nearby you can ask if you can drop them off (and maybe visit with some veterans while you’re there.)
At some point in the last couple years I realized I have a heart for veterans. My husband is one, as well as my brother and brother-in-law. I also know countless others who have family that have come back and they’re struggling with PTSD. Someday I would love to invest my ministry in them with some blankets.
Prayer Shawls – Many churches and local communities have a prayer shawl ministry. My aunt belongs to one in ME and I know several others who are involved in them. It is an amazing outreach and one that can definitely use an extra set of crocheting hands.
Some items that you can crochet…. prayer shawls, hats, blankets, scarves, washcloths.
There are so many local, as well as national, charities. I have just touched on a few. Do you donate to any that I could add to the list?