Brenda Stratton Designs

Innovative Crochet Designs Since 1987 | |

GOT YARN? A Charity Challenge


One of the perks of my job as a designer is being able to work with so many beautiful yarns. But, the point comes where so much accumulates that I run out of room to store it. I reached that point awhile ago. My storage area is bursting at the seams, so it’s time to take control and say goodbye to the older, discontinued yarns I can’t design with.

One of my favorite ways to use up excess yarn is to crochet for charity in my spare time. Over the years, I have donated to worthy causes on regional, national and even global levels. But, over all, I prefer to donate within my own community. I have always lived in the Midwest where it gets extremely cold in the winter, so there is always a need for warm wearables and blankets.

My daughter, Liz, who is a teacher’s aide for grades K-2 at an area elementary school, brought something to my attention a few years ago that really tugs at my heart. I know it isn’t unique to our area, but members of the teaching staff selflessly use their own funds to help supply warm hats and mittens to the little ones who would not otherwise have any. The idea that any child has to suffer for the lack of something so simple breaks my heart, so I help out when I can by making and donating hats to her school. I realize it’s just the tip of the iceberg, but every little bit helps.

My challenge to myself
Our local schools begin their fall sessions next month. I have pledged to donate 15 hats to my daughter’s class to be delivered by Sept. 1st. Why 15? Because that is approximately how many children there will be in her class, and I know I can make and deliver that many hats in this time frame. But, I expect to be able to crochet many more than that, and I will continue making them well into the fall and winter. Liz will distribute the hats to the students in her school who need them.

My challenge to you
If you are so inclined and in a position to do so, my challenge to you is to get involved in a similar way in your own community. Find a need, and fill it. It could be anything from making hats for your local school children (as I am doing), blankets and warm wearables for the homeless, lapghans and shawls for the aged, baby wear and blankets for hospitals, and let’s not forget the many types of shelters, both human and animal! Sometimes, a donation of yarn to a charity group or to a nursing home to help the residents who knit or crochet continue doing the craft they so love is also needed and deeply appreciated.

What I am NOT asking you to do
I am not asking you to send anything to me, personally. I am also not asking you to abandon a favorite charity you already work with. And, finally, I am not asking you to over-extend yourself or your budget. We all have time and budget constraints we must work within, and I completely understand that.

Because I write patterns for a living, it’s often more fun to do my charity work from a pattern someone else has created. When I do, I will post the links for you. And, since I am using only discontinued yarns, I will offer suggestions for similar yarns that will substitute for the ones I use.

And, finally, a sneak peek…as you can see, I already have a head start on the hats I pledged. There will be more photos and information on the pattern and yarns I used in the next post.

Hat Donations: #1


  1. Good for you Brenda. I’ve done this challenge before and it’s a great one.

    My current challenge is The Period of Purple Crying.

    I like to have at least one charity project on the go at any time.

  2. I’ve done it before, too, Sherri, but I have more free time now, and I want to do more than I’ve been able to in the past. Thanks, also, for bringing the Period of Purple Crying to my attention. I’m thinking of putting up a charity page, and this one looks like a good one to add. 🙂

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