Who do you hook for? Favorite charities? What do make? Chat it up here! Feel free to start discussions!
The cause I have been contributing to lately does not require me to raise a hook at all. I sent some yarn and hooks to the ladies that have organized the Famn pou Famn Haiti project. Most of these women live in the tent camps because their homes or the homes of their employers were destroyed in the earthquake. They have next to nothing. Many are single mothers who are either widows or have left abusive partners. They are learning to crochet to earn money so they can have some kind of life for themselves and their children. Many are illiterate....others want to send their children to school but cant afford it. Others want to finish school and possibly go to college. If a little yarn or hooks can help them realize their dreams or give them the dignity they deserve, I am all for it. I will be sending more yarn before their return to Haiti in June. This is a cause you dont have to take the time to make anything for....the women are doing that. Crochet is a tradition in Haiti....many of the older women learned to crochet when they were children, but there is little yarn and no money to buy it. You know the saying, "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat forever." That's what this is all about. All these ladies need is the fishing rod and the line. ;)
I make cat blankets for the local humane society. We used a lot of blankets/towels feeding kittens (they can be messy!!), to keep them warm and make their cages cozy. It's a great way to use up extra yarn; cat's aren't too picky about the colour combinations.... and as long as the pattern doesn't have any holes for their little paws to get caught in, you can pretty much do anything.
A couple of months ago I started working with a girl who had lots of ideas about helping ladies on low incomes, use recycled plastic bags to crochet items. She doesn't crochet but is full of ideas, is very resourceful and really interacts with the community here in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. We're starting things up and it's proving to be a challenge. We've started with women that already know how to crochet and we're just trying to get them used to the idea of crocheting with plarn! Now that is such a challenge! Especially here! And there are so many issues: finding the quickest and easiest method of cutting the strips and balling it up, various design issues. Oh lots of things! Still, it will be worth it in the end, when the women can financially benefit from their crochet skills. It'll be great! Until then we need to look for funding just to be able to pay the women that are making the sample products. We have bean bags coming up for events and potential corporate customers! Exciting but daunting and often frustrating! If anyone has tips on dealing with any of these, I will greatly appreciate it! :)
I crochet prayer shawls for my church and for friends or friends of friends, etc. wherever their is a need actually. I recently challenged a crochet group I belong to and we are making items to be sent to victims of Super Storm Sandy. So far I have 5 shawls, 2 baby afghans, and a bunch of toys that I will be taking to my local Red Cross for distribution.
I have been "hooking" for Knots of Love. It is an awesome group out of CA that donates to cancer caps to hospitals and other facilities that work with cancer patients. I have a pattern I really love and I've made so many I don't have to use a pattern any more. It is a great "take it with you" project.