Featured Charity: Red Scarf Project
On average there are over hundreds of thousands of children in the foster care system. These children are spending time with temporary families while their own work to get back on their feet. This can be a scary time for young kids and a difficult one for older kids transitioning out of the system. We have found a great charity that helps support these children through using your gifts of knitting and crochet.
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What is Foster Care:
Foster Care is a government system designed to temporarily protect and nurture children whose parents are unable or unwilling to care for them, until those parents can provide a safe home for their children. The system was set up to be a short term arrangement for these families and unfortunately there are many children who spend years in foster care.
Children in the foster care system may never feel stable or connected, lacking the family and community ties that are so critical to young adults learning to make their own way in the world. There is something that we can do to help without taking in a child ourself.
Not everyone is able to be a foster parent. Let me share with you the Red Scarf Project and how you can make a difference in the lives of children in foster care.
What is the Red Scarf Project:
As a young adult goes off to college they make a big transition from being at home where they are comfortable to a situation that is new and different. Many parents send care packages to their college students with things that remind them of home.
In the case of foster kids, they typically don’t have anyone to send them care packages. This is where the Red Scarf Project comes in. Foster Care to Success is an organization that puts together care packages for foster college students. This is a great way to remind these young adults that they are loved and not forgotten.
Each year for Valentine’s day Foster Care to Success sends out special boxes which include a red scarf. Knitters and crocheters can make a scarf to donate for these boxes. Sharing your time and talent through this program is a great way to show these young adults that they are special and that there is someone thinking about them.
How to get involved:
Scarves are accepted between September 1 and December 15 annually. Since the organization has limited storage they ask that scarves only be sent during this period of time. Be sure to check out their guidelines below and head to their website for some ideas for patterns.
Since the first Valentine’s Day care packages were mailed in 2005, we have delivered over 25,000 red scarves to foster youth in colleges and training programs across the country.
RED SCARF PROJECT GUIDELINES:
Size: Approximately 60” long and 5” to 8” wide. Scarves should be long enough to be wrapped around the neck, with tails long enough to be tied in the front.
Style: Think unisex collegiate. Fringes are optional. Your scarf should drape, tie easily and be soft.
Color: Red! However, this could mean burgundy, cherry, russet, red stripes with other colors, or multicolor hues including red.
Finished & tagged: Yarn ends should be securely sewn in. For a personal touch, attach a tag saying “Handmade for You” with your first name, city, and group affiliation, if any. Donors have also included washing instructions, messages of encouragement, gift cards, and more.
Mail to: Foster Care to Success Red Scarf Project,23811 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 210, Cleveland, OH 44122.
I love this idea!!!
Our group sent over two dozen scarves to this group last year. Many of us used this project to perfect or experiment with new techniques and designs. Not all our efforts were sent in but we had great fun and knew our best was sent to students not always acknowledged for their efforts and struggles.
Marly Bird says:
That is a great idea to try out some new stitches. How sweet that your group could send so many scarves to a great project!
wanda sterbonic says:
My Knit Guild is making the red scarves for Foster Care. Is there a pattern for the scarf at the top with the hearts?
Marly Bird says:
That is so great Wanda! Check out their website or contact them directly to get that pattern. I am not sure if they have it or if someone else had it.