Firstly, I believe in charity work. I believe in getting involved when I can. This is a part of the crochet world that makes me the most uncomfortable in social media as there are so many causes, world issues and personal situations. What do you get involved in?
Time and time again, we have people step forward that have the urge or spontaneous nature to want to get involved in charity at the time of a moment when the crisis is unfolding. People’s homes are already burned down, floods have swept up people’s lives, people are in dire straights with hunger and the list goes on and on. This is admirable but the planning for stuff like this has to be before a wave crashes and spins people’s lives out of control.
People often turn to me personally and tell me to start something. Get people to make things. Find locations to send to. Honestly, pushing the work onto me or others to figure out what’s next instead of people taking the bull by the horns and leading the charge. It’s really difficult. It’s admirable on one hand that the rush to want to help happens. Still, there’s a reason why charities build up resources during the non-crisis moments so when something lands on a community without warning, the charity is already prepared to be first responders to assist.
Crocheters simply need the time to create things if there is a request for physical donations. I know of people who create blankets and save them and when something pops up, they are already done and ready to give. It’s the difference between having the wave crash already and asking crocheters to find time to make things that can take hours that they may not have. The deal-breaker is the shipping costs, regardless of fuel pricing. The shipping costs are usually what breaks a crocheter from wanting to give.
If I were you, you might not have to re-invent the wheel if the wheel is already in place. Local organizations, possibly right in your community, may be in need so you don’t have to ship things far. You are still making a difference. Possibility, a religious organization near you is already involved in providing support for a cause. Maybe piggybacking on something already established can put your items onto an existing shipment that is going somewhere. It’s a matter of putting out feelers and finding them. In the USA alone, there are so many charities and organizations that help somehow. It could be physical product donations or even cash donations to buy things or give structured support.
I have found the best things to get involved with are within my sphere of things here at home. Is it selfish?! To some eyes, yes. But it’s better than doing absolutely nothing right!?
The charity efforts you may do may not even be yarn-related. Here locally, the SPCA has a bin set up to donate pet food. Two of our furbabies came from the SPCA.
There are donation bins at the local grocery store to help stock the local food banks. There are family shelters here where they could use things if you just ask.
Sometimes, when a crisis hits, a financial donation to a trusted charity (complete with a charity registration number) is the fastest option to get help for a community.
I know it’s difficult to pick yourself up and be the difference, but the world needs people to stand up and say they will be the difference and share how to be that difference. You may find that depending on where you live, you can be the difference in one form or another.
If it’s in your DNA, get involved if you feel it’s meant for you. And yes, sometimes your donations may not be recognized publicly or maybe you don’t get the pat on the back that you feel you deserve. Remember, charity giving isn’t about you, it’s about the recipient at the end of the day.
I feel selecting the right charity or cause is very personal, so I am not recommending favouring one versus the other. It turns people off if they are requested to participate with a charity or cause they don’t seem as important to them personally. However, you can be a community change maker right in your backyard. We, Daniel and I shop at the local farmer’s markets here as we have several due to where we live. We are supporting the local farmer by using those sources so the local farmers have a demand for their items. You see, charity isn’t always what you think you can be. There’s something to be said about supporting your local community where there is a need to be filled.
Do what you feel is right for you. Start googling to find local efforts that may exist in your communities. They may already be connected with a cause you want to be a difference of and help save you money to piggyback on shipments that are already going to a place where you feel you need to be involved.