Make a difference with charity knitting to Outreach to Appalachia and offer love and support to impoverished Americans
For most of us, poverty is not a state of being we know well. I personally take my creature comforts for granted far too often. I never go hungry, never lack for clothing, never have to decide between buying food or buying necessary medication. We may not be rich, but we certainly have everything we need.
Sadly, even in the United States, not everyone can say this. In fact, in the part of the country known as Appalachia, the poverty rate is at one of the nation’s worst levels. Rampant unemployment in the region, particularly in West Virginia, has contributed to desperate situations for many who live here.
Four years ago, the Knitting Nuggets Newsletter featured a group designed to help this region. Now, I’d like to introduce this group here at Knitting for Charity.
About Outreach to Appalachia
In August 2011, a knitter on Ravelry named Lora stumbled upon a defunct charity knitting group that focused on items for people in McDowell County, West Virginia. She would soon discover that the county was named after her fourth great-grandfather, who had been West Virginia’s governor. Instantly she felt a connection to the place and was sad to discover the rampant poverty that made life so difficult for its citizens.
She decided to revitalize the mission of the old group and begin a new group altogether, which she named Outreach to Appalachia (or O2A for short). The group found a focus group to which they could contribute knitted items called Appalachian Outreach. Every month they focus on one type of clothing items to send to Appalachian Outreach based on their stated needs.
This organization is a wonderful way to benefit a part of the country that really needs any assistance it can receive.
How You Can Help
Outreach to Appalachia is a Ravelry group, which means that if you want to join, you’ll need to join Ravelry first. (I can’t think of any reason why anyone wouldn’t want to join Ravelry, though!) Once you’ve joined Ravelry, you can hop right into the O2A group.
Don’t feel that you have to make anything immediately once you’ve joined the group; O2A prides itself on being stress-free and no-pressure. Just check out the current project pages and decide which you’d like to participate in. As of this writing there are 5 projects: Book-N-Blanket, Baby Basket Blitz, Toasty Toes, Santa Shoe Boxes, and Hat and Mitten Mania. So you can see, there’s plenty of variety!
Finished items are donated directly to Appalachian Outreach; you’re encouraged, of course, to post photos in the Ravelry group and share what you’re donating.
Patterns, project ideas, shipping information, and lots of great company and conversation are all found right on the O2A page.
So if you’d like to make a difference for some of the most desperately needy folks in America, I hope you’ll consider contributing your charity knitting to Outreach to Appalachia!