A Heart for Giving
Lately, I've been thinking about volunteering. Where? Anywhere, really. We have a place here in town that I donate to during the holidays, Portland Rescue Mission. DH donates to the Oregon Food Bank. I've often thought I would love to go down to the soup kitchen and just help out. But I never do. :(
DH took my eldest daughter to volunteer through his work to take a needy family to the mall to go shopping for Christmas presents. It was only for a few hours, but my daughter *loves* to do stuff like that. In fact, this Saturday, the Goingses are joining DH's work for another volunteering job out at a city park to clean up trash and perhaps plant some flora. It's always more fun when it's not your own yard. LOL
So it got me thinking. What else can I do? You may or may not know that once upon a time, I used to have a teddy bear business. It was called "BeccaBears". Nowadays, I would have spelled it "BeckaBears", but of course, I wasn't all *cool* and *trendy* 5 years ago. :P Anyhow, I made crocheted teddies. I folded my business because it just wasn't lucrative enough, as I would spend 2-3 days making a bear and sell it for only $20 - $30. I just didn't feel they were worth more than that. Who would pay $50 or more for a CROCHETED "nobody" teddy when they could just buy some fancy soft, plushy brand name bear for the same price?
Well, before I folded this business, I donated 7 or 8 bears (don't remember now) to one of our local hospitals here in Portland. I made up certificates to go with each bear, giving the bear's name and who donated it (I accepted donations from customers ONLY for the price of materials, and they would then choose the bear's name and color - it was cool).
After that, I was commissioned by a hospital way on the other side of the country, the Long Island Jewish Medical Center's Dept. of Oncology. They had me make 50 bears that had a "Congratulations" banner on them, for the children who completed their painful chemo treatments. That was fun, but hard work, as each bear was exactly the same. Perhaps I got burnt out on that alone.
And every now and again, I would hear the story of a sick child, and I'd give them a bear as well. So I've donated a lot of bears. I was paid for my work with Long Island Jewish Med. Ctr., but it was still rewarding knowing my bears made some kids happy.
Fast forward to now. Not really wanting to make bears again, I thought what could I do? Well, I've been kind of jonesin' to crochet again, but everyone in my family already has an afghan. :P Then I remembered a charity called Project Linus. I'd heard of them many years ago and thought it was a cool idea, but never actually made anything for them. Perhaps now I shall.
Since getting out and about to volunteer can be tricky trying to juggle the family and whatnot, I thought perhaps I could put my crochet skills to good use.
If you crochet, knit, or quilt, you might want to check these guys out. They donate all their blankets to sick children in need. There's MANY chapters, so perhaps there's one near you. :) And seen as how you'd be making children's blankets, it won't take you long at all to do. I'm planning on doing a few granny square blankets (in pretty colors, of course, because everyone hates ugly blankies).
Anyway, thought I would share that, just in case you have a heart for giving as well. :)