Do you enjoy using your hands to create beautiful things? Have you considered using those God-given creative talents to make art to share? Anything we make to give is infused with our love and encouragement for the recipient. It is a tangible way to express love to someone who needs some good lovin.
There are many organizations which exist to support women and children with handmade items. I’m sure there are organizations in your community who would be delighted to accept handmade gifts. Here are a few causes that I enjoy creating for. You may have projects you share too. If you do, or have some great ideas, please share them with us. And share your photographs!
A Universal Health Need
I began making face masks in March 2020 for my family’s protection from COVID. As the need increased, I probably made 50 to give away to friends and employees at the local grocery store where I shop. I stopped after that, presuming that was plenty. This pandemic would probably end soon, right? Wrong! Since there seems to be no end in sight and our own masks are about worn out from washing, I think I need to make more!
Patterns for masks and how-to video tutorials can be found all over the internet. Our local quilt shop gave away kits plus had the supplies needed to make more. Our local hospital also provided patterns for masks that met their specifications. Shabby Fabrics (shabbyfabrics.com) has pattern templates, great video instruction, and all the supplies you need. I recently purchased a different shaped template from them to try. You don’t have to purchase a pattern, however. Simply find the instructions online and then dig into your stash of fabrics!
Knit for Kids
A World Vision Program
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. They serve all people in need, of any faith or none.
Knit for Kids is just one of many ways we can be involved with caring for the needs of kids and their families through World Vision. But knitting and crocheting are what I enjoy, so I chose this opportunity to share. The website has free patterns for download, both crochet and knit, and recommendations for easy-to-care for yarn.
World Vision says “with every stitch, together we give hope and warmth to vulnerable children living in poverty or other difficult situations around the globe. For millions of children, a hand-made item isn’t just a sweater or a blanket. It’s a chance at better health. It’s protection and warmth. And it’s a symbol of support for a better future.”
Breast Cancer Mugs
My friend and amazing porcelain artist, Jane Bowen, began a personal effort to share encouragement with cancer patients after she experienced her own trial by breast cancer in 2006. Since then, she and her students have painted almost 3000 porcelain mugs and have given them to women going through the cancer center in Athens, Georgia. Also, since then, her effort has gone viral to the point that china painters across the US, the UK, Australia and other countries have begun the same effort. Visit Jane’s website to see her photos and comments.
I have painted mugs for Jane myself and have also painted some to give to my friends going through cancer treatment. If you paint china, why not try this! You (and I) probably aren’t able to paint in enough bulk to supply a cancer center by ourselves, but we can certainly paint enough mugs to share with those we know facing this diagnosis. Fill your mugs with tea bags or candy and a personal note to make each gift extra special.