In August 2007, Knitting for Charity featured several knitting charities. Among these were Caps for Kids and Warm Up America. Most of us charity knitters have heard of Warm Up America and are quite familiar with it, but perhaps not as many of us are as familiar with Caps for Kids.
The reason for that may be because Caps for Kids has since been absorbed by Warm Up America. While Warm Up America is best known for accepting 7″ x 9″ squares to sew together into afghans, you might not know that one of America’s oldest knitting charities accepts far more than just afghan squares and completed afghans.
Warm Up America has grown into a charity that warms up needy folks in many different ways, and supplying afghans is just one of them. They also accept hats, for both adults and babies; other baby items; and scarves. In addition, they also periodically accept other items for special drives.
What has always appealed to me, personally, about Warm Up America is not only the vastness of its organization – it donates handmade items to social service organizations all over the country – but also how perfect it is for beginners. I often hear from beginning knitters who really want to knit for charity, but they’re wary of attempting anything difficult. The 7″ x 9″ squares that have served as the backbone of Warm Up America are perfect projects for beginning knitters.
And as the beginning knitter progresses in his or her skills, s/he can move on to more difficult projects — and can even start sewing together those first skills to make full blankets!
How You Can Help
Warm Up America is a fantastic organization to donate to, not least because it is reliable and well-established. If you want to help all kinds of needy people, from the tiniest newborns to the elderly, this is a great way to spend your knitting time.
At any time, Warm Up America gratefully accepts afghans of any size, the aforementioned squares, adult hats, scarves, and any baby items, including hats. You can also check out the Current Needs section of their website to find out how you can support one of their current drives.
Warm Up America encourages participants to donate to service organizations in their own communities, but if this isn’t possible, they will always accept contributions at their central office in Texas:
Warm Up America!
3740 N. Josey Lane, Suite 102
Carrollton, TX 75007
Another way you can help Warm Up America is through financial contributions. You can donate through PayPal or via check along with a completed contribution form. You can find a Donate button or the form on their Donation page.
You can also purchase a handy Hobo Tote that they have available here. It’s a great bag to carry your latest project, it helps to spread the word about Warm Up America, and its cost helps to keep Warm Up America running.
Finally, as a part of the Craft Yarn Council, it’s probably not surprising that Warm Up America strongly encourages teaching others to knit! It makes sense, of course. The more knitters we have, the more can knit for charity! You can hold your own knitting classes and do so as informally or as formally as possible. If you’re not sure you can teach others to knit, no worries: on every page of the WUA website, you’ll find on the right-hand side of the page a series of links that will help you teach others to knit.
Whether you help Warm Up America by knitting, teaching others to knit, donating financially, or purchasing a cool new bag, you’ll know that your efforts can help keep needy folks warm. And really, what could be more rewarding than that?