Craft for Good, not Evil: Crafting as Volunteering

Crafting for Good

Crafting for GoodCurtains for the local domestic violence shelter’s windows.

Pro-breastfeeding pinback buttons for the local pregnancy support center.

Travel-size handmade arts and crafts kits for children caught up in the local court system.

A tie-dyed T-shirt quilt for a local school’s fundraising auction.

Hats for Haitian newborns.

These are a few of the many things that I’ve crafted for charity over the course of my crafty adult life.

Especially if you just don’t have donation money to spare, and even if fitting regular volunteer hours into your schedule is a daunting prospect, you can still make a meaningful contribution to the charities and other causes that you hold dear. Here’s how:

Perhaps you could make something with love, something that will be received with gratitude for that love. When my tiny little daughter and I lived for three weeks in the NICU, parents and babies there were often gifted with tiny little hats crocheted from yarn scraps, and matching incubator-sized afghans, and hand-pieced crib quilts, and preemie-sized button-front baby gowns.

Perhaps you could make preemie-sized clothing, or toys for older siblings or hospitalized children, or quilts for the residents of domestic violence shelters.

Perhaps you could make something that is simply needed by a charitable organization. When our local domestic violence shelter opened a new location just recently, it was home sewers in our own community, on our own sewing machines, who hemmed curtains for every window and sewed quilts for every bed. I only cut out and  hemmed three curtains, a simple task that took maybe an hour, and a volunteer even brought me the fabric and picked up the finished curtains right from my home.

Perhaps you could sew curtains for the local office of a charity, or screen-print matching volunteer T-shirts, or crochet washcloths for an emergency shelter, or sew cloth diapers for newborns in poverty-stricken communities.

Perhaps you could make something that could make money for your favorite charity. Instead of the $50 donation that I would have liked to have given to my local pregnancy support center, I gave them 50 handmade pinback buttons featuring the International Breastfeeding Symbol, to be sold in their small shop at $1 per button. Instead of the who-knows-how-much donation that my children’s private school would have liked for me to have given them, I gave them a handmade quilt to be auctioned off at their big spring fundraiser, earning them who-knows-how-much money in return.

Perhaps you could donate a large handmade item to a local charity’s local fundraiser, or donate a handmade item as a prize in a walk-a-thon, or donate a number of small handmade items as gifts for volunteers or sponsors, or tithe your craft fair sales to your favorite charity.

Your handmade items can make a difference.

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Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life, and my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties.


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