One of the greatest pleasures I take from having grown a successful business is that I’m able to donate to charity on a regular basis; as well as get involved with other one-off projects. With our Flower Power Fund (Marie Curie) yarn having sold like hot cakes last week, and Yarndale having announced this year’s charity project I thought it would be a good time to talk about charity in the context of yarn and ECY.
Yarndale has been going for five years now, and when they started they had the Oxfam yarn amnesty thing and it still happens every year. It’s really useful for donating yarn and haberdashery that you know you’re not going to get around to using up, and they pass the items on to crafters who make things for Oxfam to sell. Apparently this is much more beneficial than donating the items straight to shops as they can struggle to sell them, but don’t struggle to sell handmade craft items. To donate to the Oxfam yarn amnesty at Yarndale this year simply take your items to stand number H110 over the weekend (you can see it on the show map HERE
Further more, Yarndale now also run a community project each year; last year (2017) it was hearts, which you can read more about here. This year’s project is to make a kaleidoscope of (crocheted) butterflies; they’ll form a spectacular display at the show with the aim of raising awareness of Pioneer Projects which is a charity that uses the creative arts to support those living with dementia. Any excess butterflies will be available to buy in return for a donation to Pioneer, and then after the show some of the butterflies will go on permanent display at the Pioneer centre in North Yorkshire, and the rest will go to the Cottonpod project  - this is in conjunction with Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, where ‘comfort bags’ are provided to families who are supporting loved ones through end of life care - the butterflies will be added to these bags; sometimes the patient who has died will be left with one and then it will later be returned to the family from the funeral directors. Wherever the butterflies end up, they will be providing comfort and love to those who need it. 
Another project that has become an annual thing is the Yarndale Sock Line, organised by Christine Perry of Winwick Mum fame. The hand knit socks are strung up during Yarndale for all to see, and then afterwards they are sent on to people who need a little extra comfort and warmth. You can read more about the project here.
At ECY our main charity of choice is Knit For Peace  - I’m sure many of you will have heard of them by now, but they do all sorts - they mostly distribute hand knits/crocheted items to a wide range of people who need them, so that includes homeless folks, elderly folks, refugees all over the world, and really just anyone who needs clothing, warmth or comfort. They also run knitting holidays with amazing teachers such as Susan Crawford, so there are multiple ways you can get involved with them. If you have any knitwear to donate though, please consider it. Over the years we’ve sent a LOT of our ex-display knitwear, and I hope it’s all been worn to shreds, keeping cold heads and hands warm and night, at the very least. 
On a more personal level, I donate irregularly to quite a few charities, but I also donate monthly to a wonderful rescue called Happy Animals Club, the only no-kill shelter on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines (it remains the only still-functioning and registered animal shelter in the region). I’ve been donating to HAC since just after their formation in 2014  by then-11-year-old Ken, but my monthly amount has gradually increased which is pleasing. HAC came about because Ken was carrying around cans of dog food to feed the struggling street dogs, and persuaded his parents to let him bring a family into his garage so he could look after them properly. To say it’s snowballed from there is an understatement. They are now a full-blown rescue shelter who are constantly struggling for space and time, but do an amazing job with an even more amazing sense of humour despite everything. They’re over on Instagram so please do have a look. I’m so glad and proud to support them. 
So come on.. which are your charities of choice? Does it make you happy to be able to donate? Have you donated to Knit For Peace or been involved in any of the Yarndale charity projects? Let me know in the comments! 

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