Crafts like crocheting and knitting can provide a variety of benefits for seniors. Improving mood, building self-esteem, relieving stress, increasing coordination, and reducing the chances of cognitive decline are among the many potential advantages.
But did you know that by engaging in creative hobbies, you also can help needy individuals? If you love crafting, consider working with a charitable organization to share your creative wares. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Choose Crafts You Enjoy
Before you decide how you’ll distribute your crafts to people who need them, take time to consider what — and how — you like to create.
Once you get started with helping the needy through your hobbies, you may find it necessary to expand your skills and the types of items you create. In the beginning, though, you may want to continue with your familiar tools, techniques and final products.
To find a group that’s looking for the types of crafts you already create, you can search online or contact some charitable groups in your area for ideas.
Find the Right Charity
Many charities seek items created by knitters, crocheters and other creative crafters, so you can find an organization that fits your own values and goals.
For example, Lutheran World Relief provides infant layette sets — including handmade sweaters, receiving blankets and other items — as part of their emergency relief efforts around the world and encouragement to pregnant women to get prenatal care. Project Linus — named after the “Peanuts” character — provides handmade blankets, quilts and afghans to sick children in U.S. hospitals.
No matter what type of craft you enjoy creating, you can likely find an organization to help. With a quick search, you can verify the validity of any charitable group you’d like to assist. Before you get started on a project, make sure you have instructions and specifications from the group to ensure that your items will be accepted.
Get Others Involved
Once you start using your hobbies to aid the needy, you may want to enlist others to help as well. Consider starting a group in your senior living community or in your local neighborhood. Getting together with friends and neighbors can make creating crafts more fun and social.
You may want to meet with your group regularly or dedicate only a few weekends each year to creating crafts for charity. The more people you can get to participate, the more help your group can provide. You also can consider asking a local craft shop to donate some supplies in support of your efforts.
Make Your Donations Seasonal
You may decide you’d like to work with more than one charitable group — or work on more than one project — at different times throughout the year. Many charitable craft projects can change with the seasons. For instance, you might make pink items in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October or red items in February to raise awareness of heart disease in women.
Consider Teaching Others
In addition to creating craft items to donate to the needy, you can use your skills to teach others. Consider volunteering to teach your skill in a local homeless shelter or community organization — whether it’s crocheting, knitting, gardening, cooking, woodworking, or any other talent you can share.
However you choose to use your hobbies to help the needy, you can feel good about contributing to the community while you also reap the emotional and physical benefits. At Gull Creek, you’ll find a variety of ways to nurture your spirit as you enjoy all the amenities of a full-service senior living community. To learn more, please contact us today.