I wanted to draw attention to a recent blog post in the Oregonian Live by Mary Mooney, entitled Helping Japan: How Your Knitting Can (and Can’t) Help — and make a few comments.
People are often kind-hearted and want to help as soon as there’s a disaster, such as the recent earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear emergency in Japan, or the earthquake in Haiti last year. This is to be commended. However, there are times when a knit or crocheted item is the answer, and there are times when it is not. I was glad to see this post by Ms. Mooney because it helps delineate what things are useful at times like this.
There have been times when I’ve been confused by well-meaning drives for knit goods. Sometimes, a knit or crochet good is definitely the answer, as in the case of a local shelter asking for washable blankets (so my office knit and crochet group sallied forth and started crocheting blankets like mad), or the local women’s shelter asking for hand-knit washcloths and toiletries so that women who arrive with literally only the clothes on their backs have a welcome packet containing not only necessary hygiene items, but something comforting and theirs to keep.
Folks who have lost everything and are struggling to survive unspeakable events don’t need new hand-made blankets or washcloths, though. They need medical care, food, shelter.
If you really want to knit or crochet for charity, then I guess selling that hand-made good would be an awesome way to do it! Use your Etsy or Artfire page to sell the items and donate the proceeds! 🙂
Finally, here are some links you can use if you want to help (collated from a number of emails and sites I’ve seen):
American Red Cross You can either donate at the website using the big red button, or use your cellphone to txt $10 by sending the message REDCROSS to number 90999.
Doctors Without Borders You can donate at the website or by calling 1-888-392-0392.
Facebook has a disaster relief page, too that is updated with new information as it comes in.