Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Care to help out a homeless veteran?

I belong to a Ravelry group called Knitters for Obama. I first looked at the group more out of curiosity than anything else; I wasn't quite sure where my decision to support a particular political candidate intersected with my love of knitting. Oddly, though, I've come to treasure the group. By and large, it's full of smart, caring and funny knitters and crocheters. They keep me well-informed about current political developments, and they often make me laugh out loud.

We are currently working on a charitable project, making items that will be donated to a couple of shelters for homeless military veterans. We were inspired by reading about the shocking statistics regarding homeless vets: e.g., it is estimated that one-third of the homeless population -- 1/3!! -- are military vets. The Veteran's Administration estimates that over 150,000 U.S. vets are homeless on any given night. I suspect the number may even be higher. You can't drive half a mile without seeing a zillion cars displaying "Support the troops" magnets, but if we're all so busy supporting the troops, why are so many of them sleeping in cardboard boxes?

Anyway, our Knitters for Obama group is working in conjunction with a couple of homeless shelters, finding out what kinds of items they need and what guidelines they wish us to use. Right now, we are making hats, scarves and washcloths. It's important to me that we provide items that will be of beautiful quality and that will be suitable and useful for the recipients. So we've come up with some guidelines for participants to follow here.

If any of my readers would like to help, I will gladly collect any items you make and send them along with mine to the collections point(s). You can email me through the link in the sidebar when you have a finished item or items and I'll give you my mailing address. I understand that not everyone enjoys knitting for strangers, especially in connection with a politically-motivated group. But I would be deeply grateful for any items that you care to send that match our guidelines. (In fact, I would be so grateful that I would draw some names randomly from anyone who sends me an item and award a BBF prize or two...)

Thanks in advance for your support.

7 comments:

Carol said...

Will do. I'll try to get something done for Saturday at Webs??

Tikabelle said...

It's disgraceful that people who laid their lives - and sanity - on the line for the United States are being treated like offal. My family is lucky enough to be able to care for my brother (101st airborne, Army) when he comes home no matter what happens, but others are not so fortunate. Count me in.

somebunnysloveDOTcom said...

Hi Carol,
I will do my best to have something for you by this Saturday's book signing!
Bunny hugs,
=:8

no-blog-rachel said...

I'd be very happy to knit a few things and send them to you. What Tika said - it's horrendous how so many who served are completely abandoned. We can't fix what's wrong but maybe it'll help if they know someone cares.

Anonymous said...

I've already signed up via Ravelry--it seems such a small thing to do, but, as they say, "It's the thought that counts." Warm hats, etc., will count, too, so I hope others among Carol's readers will join in.

Obscure

puffthemagicrabbit said...

I'm on it!

Ann said...

Need some more shelter contacts? I have one in Easton (Safe Harbor), one in Bethlehem (Victory House), and one in Allentown (Allentown REscue Mission)all with their cadre of vets.

I'm in for a couple of knitwears. Or cloths.