Donations are the lifeline of many organizations and sewing projects
for charity is a personal way to get involved. Check with any
charitable organization before beginning a project to ensure that
they need the item, and that they are a reputable group.
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Not all charitable organizations accept handmade items and some
organizations are fake, selling donated items for self-gain. Before
you start sewing items for donations, check to make sure they are a
reputable company. American
Sewing Guild is a good resource for this where you can check
for information on charitable organizations, their service areas,
and accepted donations.
Sewing projects for infants are plentiful with free online patterns
for a wide variety of projects. Premature infants are small and
require tiny t-shirts, caps and gowns. Contact the charity prior to
starting your sewing project for specifics on materials, closures
and any restrictions or recommendations on the charity sewing
projects you have.
Homeless shelters, children’s services and other similar
organizations may provide “want and need lists” that contain items
that are always needed, and items that a specific infant or child
needs. Charitable baby showers are sometimes hosted for mothers in
need and many children’s hospitals have specific programs for units
in their facility. Child sized pillows with matching blankets, ICU
‘Going Home’ layettes and stuffed animals are just a few of the
items that many children’s hospitals request.
Veterans and VA Hospitals
Wounded war veterans and patients in VA hospitals benefit from
charity sewing projects both physically and emotionally. There are
many sewing projects needed for injured vets including specialized
pillows for supporting injured limbs, tube pillows that provide
non-pressure support and gowns that have Velcro closures.
Rehabilitation facilities also benefit from the skills of those who
can sew. Replacing buttons with Velcro for vets who have lost limbs
or sewing pull tabs on socks to allow a vet to dress themselves are
just a few of the many ways where sewing skills are used.
Senior citizens have special needs that are filled by donations of
hand sewn items. Hospital bed saddlebags, wheelchair lap robes,
walker bags and Velcro closure gowns are a few of the items welcomed
at many nursing home facilities. Contact the facility prior to
starting a project in order to find out what their immediate needs
are. Donating items that are not needed and will go unused, take up
valuable storage space. Volunteers at these facilities may also
benefit from charity sewing projects including drawstring bags, book
covers and flap style pouches.
Special charity sewing projects for pets, especially after a natural
or man-made disaster, fills a niche often overlooked. Cage pads,
animal specific toys and clothing are a few of the items that are
often needed by animal rescue facilities and adoption agencies.
Horse blankets help to prevent infection of wounds or sores while
booties can help paw pads heal in comfort. The needs list of each
facility will differ and calling the organization provides
information on what items are needed most.
Assisting in your endeavor to make charity sewing projects,
charities often provide links to free patterns for items that they
need. ICU gowns, chemotherapy wraps, drain bags and breast cancer
pillows are a few of the free patterns available for cancer
patients. Patterns to make handmade stuffed animals given to
children by law enforcement officers and firefighters, or provided
to children at hospitals, are also available free online.
Charitable sewing patterns are found by category on some online
websites including: Project
Turning recycled materials into charity projects is a way to double
your efforts. Old fleece sweatshirts become diaper covers, preemie
hats, drain bags and scarves with a little effort. T-shirts become
lap robes, drawstring pouches and wheelchair or walker saddlebags
easily as well. Material scraps are wonderful for small stuffed
animals, preemie clothing and pet toys, while sheets transform into
colorful Velcro closure gowns.
Volunteers and donations of needed items are vital to many
organizations. Charity sewing projects provide a way to share both
time and resources with others in need.