The Season of Giving: a Craft Hope Giveaway

November 29, 2010, 10:14 am  Posted by Lark

As we celebrate the season of giving thanks and head into the season of giving, this can be such a full and busy time of year: we plan for Thanksgiving in its many forms; we reflect on our love of family and friends; we turn inward to the coziness and warmth of our homes; and we think of gifts to create which celebrate a season of light and love. It’s enough to fill half the year, and we end up squeezing it between Halloween and New Year’s—what a fast-paced holiday season it can be.

It’s easy to be caught up in the list-making, the have-tos, the present wrapping and recipe-trying, and the work (joyful as it may be) of fulfilling the traditions and aspirations we set for ourselves. I don’t know about you, but I feel quite proud of myself if I can manage to keep my kitchen moderately clean during this time of year, and I consider it a triumph if I’ve purchased the poinsettia for my kitchen table (it stands in for a real Christmas tree—those of us with tiny apartments need to be clever when it comes to holiday plant decor). I’m also lucky to realize that it’s a blessing and a choice to say, “There’s just so much—too much—to do during the holiday season.”

It’s often a choice to feel and be busy right now: maybe you know what I mean—maybe you’re checking off a holiday to-do list right now (stocking stuffer for Jeff, coconut macaroons for vet office) or possibly a new one is sitting next to you as you read this. Though who knows, maybe you’re blissfully enjoying a holiday count down without a sense of pressure or deadline (um, if you are, please come help me bake cookies).

Wherever you are on the Busy Spectrum, I’d like to share this idea and question with you: does your checklist include the name of someone in need? Amidst the excitement and comfort of the holidays, we have an opportunity to give in so many ways—our time, our creativity, our hospitality, our love. In what ways might we also contribute those gifts to organizations founded on the principle of helping others?

Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to work on Craft Hope: Handmade Crafts for a Cause—a book that thoughtfully pairs instructions for handcrafted projects with charities in need. Working with its author, Jade Sims, and the incredible designers featured within its pages was a privilege, and I was constantly inspired and touched by their innovation and generosity. My eyes were also opened to the missions of dozens of charities profiled in Craft Hope. From cancer treatment centers to adoption nonprofits, Craft Hope suggests ways in which we can reach out locally, nationally, and globally through the simple act of sharing handmade creativity with others.

To spread the seeds of inspiration, I’ve listed below some of the charities profiled in Craft Hope. I encourage you to visit their sites and find out how you can add your compassion to their cause this holiday season.

Global Impact www.charity.org

Pan de Vida www.pdvmex.org

Project Night Night www.projectnightnight.org

Orphan Foundation of America www.orphan.org

ORPHANetwork www.orphanetwork.org

Knobit Sante Cap-Haitien Health Partnership www.konbitsante.org

Jewish Family Service of Seattle www.jfsseattle.org

SOME (So Others Might Eat) www.some.org

Margaret’s Hope Chest www.margaretshopechest.com

Youth Action International www.youthactioninternational.org

The Care Bags Foundation www.carebags4kids.org

The Yarnery’s Mitten Fairy Project www.yarnery.com

Little Red Wagon Foundation www.littleredwagonfoundation.com

Operation Sock Monkey www.operationsockmonkey.com

Giving Children Hope www.gchope.org

Miracle Foundation www.miraclefoundation.org

Starlight Children’s Foundation www.starlight.org/crafthope

The Preemptive Love Coalition www.preemptivelove.org

Children of the Forest www.childrenoftheforest.com

Alex’s Lemonade Stand www.alexslemonade.org

MD Anderson Cancer Center www.mdanderson.org

SafePlace www.safeplace.org

**Giveaway info**

To celebrate this season of giving, we’re giving away a copy of Craft Hope: Handmade Crafts for a Cause. We hope it inspires you to share your time, creativity, and love with those in need of care, a helping hand, and hope.

To be entered for a chance to win a copy of Craft Hope, leave a comment on this post by 9:00 p.m. EST on Monday, December 6th. You’re welcome to post any comment, though I’d love to hear how you plan to celebrate this season of giving. One winner will be selected at random and contacted by Friday, December 10th. Click here for the official rules.


21 Responses

    Gjsarah says:

    i just discovered this website after i purchased Fa La La La Felt over the thanksgiving holidays. i can’t wait to make some of the crafts i found in the book!

    Yebo1996 says:

    all gifts leaving my hands and heart this holiday season are going to be handmade.

    Angela Tong says:

    What a lovely sounding book. My husband and I will not be exchanging gifts this year. Instead we plan to donate the money to a charity that will both agree on.

    Michele J says:

    I just checked this book out from our local library – it would be great to win a copy!

    Anne Larsen says:

    Most gifts from me are handmade. I like the fact that you give 1§ to those who need.

    Erin says:

    Camp Sunshine in Maine has a request for hand made quilts for the family suites: http://www.campsunshine.org/support_us/wish_list/index.php

    When the holiday rush is over, making one for the camp, which I volunteered at as a graduate student, is at the top of my list.

    I also plan to support an organization started last year by a girl I used to play soccer with: http://malaikaforlife.org/about-us
    Handmade bracelets sold to fight Malaria in Africa.

    Thank you for sharing all these worthy causes. I routinely seek out places where I can do the most good. I would love to be able to offer a line of jewelry that is just for that purpose. I think I will put it in my goals for the creation of my line of jewelry coming out in the spring. Thank you for the inspiration.
    Enjoy the day!

    Annamari says:

    What a great idea!

    Monica says:

    It looks like this is going to be a season of knitting around here, I’m knitting up a storm! Just finished a hat for my Mom out of some local alpaca yarn, now working on a bolero for my SiL and have plans for a scarf for my co-worker’s daughter, who is away at college and VERY homesick.

    Lisa perez says:

    I’ve been crocheting lots of stuff for charity this year: hats, scarves, and baby blankets.

    Julia says:

    I like the ideas in the listed websites. I’ve knitted prayer shawls regularly for at least a year (and blogged about it!), and hope to figure out a way to incorporate more charity work into my crafting. Thank you for this post.

    Wendy says:

    One of the items on my resolutions list is to do some more crafting for charity. This year I knitted little hats for the Big Knit which benefited the charity Age UK. I want to find a few more charities to help support in the new year so this book would be perfect. This Christmas will be a time for family and friends, sharing some food together and exchanging small gifts (handmade in my case) and remembering how lucky we are to have each other.

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lark Crafts and Quilts, Inc. , Love, Daniella. Love, Daniella said: RT @LarkCrafts Does your holiday to-give list include someone in need? Enter to win Craft Hope to inspire generosity: http://bit.ly/eloH9u [...]

    Agambroult says:

    I’m dying for this book! And to win it would be even better :)
    we’re going to celebrate the season of giving by donating some of the home-canned fruits and veggies to the local food pantry. This is the first year we had enough of a surplus to give some, so we’re excited!

    Heidi says:

    Would LOVE to be able to take a look at this! Looking for different inspiring ways to Pay It Forward and Help where I can!

    rose says:

    I’m celebrating the season with handmade gifts for my friends and family … a quiet home-cooked, from scratch meal for my spouse and his mom (and my dog) … a fire in the fireplace and expressions gratitude for the love and abundance in my life … and a donation to our local food bank too. Peace.

    Lindsay Sews says:

    Celebrating the season by getting together with friends to knit and crochet scarves for our neighbors in this winter weather. :)

    Pameladawn says:

    I make most of my holiday gifts and normally include some type of hand made gift card holder for the younger one’s in the family.

    K-ren says:

    We pick ornaments off of the giving tree in church. It is nice to help families in need right in your own community. For our own holiday we have a tradition that on Christmas Eve we exchange only gifts that we have made for each other. It is so wonderful to give these gifts out and watch your loved ones open up something you have made just for them. And of course I cherish the items that my children and husband make just for me. It is the best part of Christmas.

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