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Winter is a time for cozy endeavors. Itʼs a time for hot chocolate, movies, cooking, and crafting. Whatʼs better than making something with your hands while you watch a movie in your nice warm house? How about crafting for good? There are charities that need you to get crafting, and fast!

The Binky Patrol provides “homemade blankets for children born HIV Positive, drug- addicted, infected with AIDS or other chronic and terminal illnesses.” These blankets also go to children (0-18 years old) who need a little additional comfort for other reasons such as trauma or abuse, and kids who are in foster care.

Care Wear provides free handmade items to infants and children free of charge in hospitals. Items needed include baby blankets, hats, dolls, burial garments and quilts. Check the website to find out what items are needed by which hospitals.

If you melt at the thought of an animal in a shelter, check out Comfort for Critters. This organization creates handmade blankets to give to animal shelters so the animals have something soothing and warm. When these animals go home to their forever families, the blankets go with them to ease the transition. Theyʼre also more likely to find their forever home if they have the comfort of a blanket- theyʼve been shown to make animals more social and friendly, which gets them to their forever home more quickly.

Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the United States, meaning it has touched nearly all of our lives. Make a hat for the Hat Box Foundation, which is “warming the heads and hearts of those in need.” They have affiliated hospitals around the country that need homemade hats to brighten someoneʼs day. Get knitting!

Like many of us, I am passionate about helping our troops. With Operation Gratitude, you can send homemade hats and scarves to those who serve. Check out the Scarves for Troops program and keep in mind that they need scarves to keep our soldiers cool in the hot summer months, too.

Helping women and children in shelters is the mission of the Pink Slipper Project. Send in a pair of homemade slippers, and theʼll be given to a woman or child in need of something warm and loving. It is their mission, as they say “of women and children living in shelters for victims of domestic violence. Not only will a pair of handmade slippers help keep them warm, but remind them that they are not alone and that someone cared enough to make something special just for them. A simple kindness goes a long way in the healing process.”

When a child goes through something traumatic, The Precious Pals Program steps in. It provides stuffed animals in hand knit sweaters to first responders to comfort children in these times. As their website states, “Children in crisis often wonder if there is anyone who cares. Precious Pals lets them know that they are cared about and loved.” If you have a heart for kids, think about making and donating something for these kids to cuddle.

Another great way to comfort kids is through Project Linus. Project Linus was founded to “provide love, a sense of security, warmth, and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need.” Check the website for more information on how to help, including blanket drop-off sites.

Another way to help the troops is through Soldiers’ Angels. Check out the various ways you can craft to help those who serve, whether that be blankets for those deployed or in the hospitals, pillow cases for troops in the hospital, warming and cooling scarves, or another craft.

To help other people get cozy, get crafting for Warm Up America. These blankets will go to shelters, nursing homes, veteransʼ homes, homeless shelters, and more. Better yet, they have patterns to download on their site.

Those are just some of the ways that you can craft while doing a good deed. Get in touch with hospitals, shelters, and other organizations within your community to see what their needs are, too!

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