The primary aims of the Minnesota Knitters' Guild's Service Committee are to sponsor knitting projects that benefit those in need, to collect and donate supplies to organizations that put them to good use, and to volunteer knitting lessons to requesting organizations.
In past years, we've donated knitted items for babies at the Hennepin County Medical Center's Birth Center, for families on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations in South Dakota, for inmates at the Shakopee Women's Prison, for citizens of Afghanistan, and many others.
Here are details of our current projects:
Our 2016 recipient organizations are LifeSource, a non-profit organization that saves lives through organ, eye and tissue donation; and Jeremiah Program, a transitional housing program for single mothers and children.
LifeSource needs shawls, which will be given to family members of organ donors who have passed away. For each shawl we donate, LifeSource will in turn donate one fleece blanket to give to the families of Jeremiah Program!
Jeremiah Program needs hats, mittens, slippers, scarves, sweaters – anything warm. If you make something that needs special handling, please attach the washing instructions to the garment. We will also accept toys and Christmas stockings.
For a list of free patterns, check out our thread on Ravelry.
2016 proved to be very challenging, yet so successful. We began the year by knitting items for 2 women’s shelters and dishcloths for 3 food shelves. In December, however, one of the women’s shelters said they had received enough donated items and did not need things from the Guild. The Service Committee came through again and nominated another organization needing warm clothing.
We had another record year from all of our knitters. The Twin Cities area knitters donated 775 items, which were distributed as follows:
7th Street Community Center
Bemidji Community Food Shelf
CROSS Community Center in Rogers
Northfield Community Action Center
Bundles of Love
Total number distributed was 760 items. 15 items were retained due the Charity Program’s knitting contest. These items will be distributed in 2016.
Many thanks for everyone who participated in the Survey Monkey that allowed all Guild members to vote for the most creative dishcloth and clothing item. Sheri Braun won a $100 gift card for her beautiful “fox gloves.”
Karen B. Lehman also won a $100 gift card for her “Blue Plate Special” dishcloth.
We also received another 1600 skeins of yarn from generous donors, tying last year’s donations! Some of the organizations that received the re-gifted yarn include: Bundles of Love (151 skeins), Vision Loss Resources (200 skeins), St. Paul’s Church in Stillwater (100 skeins), Heart House (100 skeins) and our affiliates in Duluth (170 skeins). 362 skeins were given to the Silent Auction. This year, the Guild raised slightly over $1,000!
We are very much aware that there is so much more charity knitting going on throughout the state. In an effort to try to be better informed about the amount of charity knitting, we started collecting information from anyone in a knitting group. Although we’ve only begun to scratch the surface, we’d like to present our 2015 results and let everyone know that we will be looking even harder for charity knitting in 2016:
Northfield Yarn Knitters
Rocking Horse Farms in St. Cloud
Laura Knitters - Northfield
St. Paul Lutheran Church
Northern Lights Affiliate - Duluth
How does Steven do it?? He even received a shipment of hats from Hawaii!! Way to go everyone! We’re certain there’s more charity knitting out there, and we would appreciate your help in locating other groups throughout the state.
In 2016, Guild members will be knitting for Jeremiah House which helps low-income single mothers and their children by providing support and education to help them attain economic independence, and shawls for LifeSource, a non-profit organization, with its main office in Minneapolis, serving MN, ND, SD and western WI families whose loved ones have donated organs or tissue upon their death.
Many grateful thanks again to all of our generous and creative knitters!
Get the most out of your love of knitting! Membership benefits include pre-registration for Yarnover, a subscription to our quarterly Cable Gram, organized public service projects and camaraderie with fellow knitters. Annual dues are $30.