Thoughts of refugees from Iraq and Syria have weighed heavily on my mind for the last few months. I’ve kept my eyes peeled for any way that knitters like you and I could help, but their plights seemed so severe that I wasn’t sure how knitting could help. Then I found a new knitting charity based in the United Kingdom called Knit Aid, and my prayers were answered! This is a group of knitters that are knitting hats, scarves, and snoods (like a cowl with a hood) to take to refugees arriving in Europe. These men, women, and children are just desperately trying to restart their lives after fleeing devastating wartime conditions. Many of them have left in fear of their lives, sure that if they remained in their homelands, they would be killed. Now many of them are facing even more difficulties as they struggle to find a place that will accept them and allow them to carry on their lives. Many are facing fear, suspicion, and prejudice. If you, too, long to give even the smallest bit of comfort and warmth to people facing unimaginable hardship, read on!
How You Can Help
Check out the Knit Aid website. It’s very simple, but it’s a new organization, and they’re just getting started. You can learn about their mission and see how you can help. You can knit, of course! Take a look at the patterns portion of their website to see one beanie pattern for sale and two free (and very easy!) patterns for snoods. You can also use any other patterns you would like. The important qualities for your handknits: they should be dark-colored (i.e. won’t show dirt easily) and warm. Remember, many refugees will live in camps for the foreseeable future, and winter is coming! You can also donate yarn, hold a workshop, and of course, spread the word! Knit Aid also has a Facebook page where you can see the beautiful handknits already donated. As of this writing, Knit Aid has a deadline of November 7 before they make their deliveries. However, they will be setting new deadlines continually, so if you miss that deadline, no worries — just hold onto your knits until a new deadline is set. (And make more if you can!) On the Contact page of the Knit Aid website, you’ll find not only an e-mail form with which you can ask questions, but you can also find the address to which you can ship your handknitted items. I am so excited about this new knitting charity. If you’re also excited about this wonderful opportunity to help refugees, do join up with Knit Aid!