We all know how much fun it is to take our creative ideas and turn them into something real and tangible, either to keep for ourselves, sell, or give to those we love. But what about taking that creative energy and putting it out into the world to help others? Craft Hope does just that. Craft Hope is “a love inspired project designed to share handmade crafts with those who need them”. At its core is the belief that crafting can help the world, a creative take on helping our neighbors. With a particular emphasis on helping children around the world, Craft Hope picks one charity, community, or issue to take on and then puts out a call to crafters at large to make a specific project to send to the selected charity.
For a past project they teamed up with ConKerr Cancer, who works with terminally ill children. Their goal? To bring a bright, colorful pillowcase to every terminally ill child in hospital. You might be thinking what good is a pillowcase going to do, but think of the smile, cheer, and love that child will get knowing someone was thinking of them, wishing them well, and took the time to make something just for them, just to bring them a little bright spot in their hospital room. They collected thousands of beautiful handmade pillowcases to send.
Craft Hope has teamed up with Doctors Without Borders for work in Haiti, Casa Bernabe Orphanage (handmade dolls), the Liberia Orphan Education Project (beanbags with letters and numbers on them), Margaret’s Hope Chest (quilts for homeless children), and for the Gulf Oil Spill they partnered with The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, the Audubon Nature Institute, and the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge to provide small handmade hand towels for cleaning dolphins and sea turtles. This is just a sampling of some of the work Craft Hope does. What I love most about this group is that it is strangers coming together, putting their creativity and energy to work for good and helping others.
What can you do? Their current call is a great first project for anyone new to crafting or for veteran crafters: bracelets for orphaned kids in Russia, of which there are over 750,000 (a number which has almost doubled in the last ten years). Teaming up with Orphan Outreach*, Craft Hope wants to give as many kids as possible a handmade bracelet, as a visible reminder that they are not forgotten. Bracelets can be hemp, woven, or beaded but have to be handmade. The deadline is June 15 for you to mail the bracelet. Click the picture or link above to find out more details.
(I first found out about Craft Hope because of their book Craft Hope: Handmade Crafts For A Cause, which I got out of my local library. So here is a plug for both crafting and local libraries: go to your library, check this book out, and get crafting!)
*Orphan Outreach works to support local orphanages and get them the resources they need. There is also a special focus on helping kids transition out of the orphanage system and into the world at large when they age out of the system so they don’t end up involved in crime or prostitution, which often happens when these new adults leave the system unsupported.