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Friday, June 20, 2008

The Craft of Giving

For hundreds of years women have been using craft as a means to help raise money and awareness for charity. From quilt raffles to bake sales, countless lives have been touched by homemade goods. All it takes is a resourceful person to turn something made with love into resources for a deserving charity.

My interest in the craft of giving has increased even more since I have found a cause that I feel passionate about. It has raised my awareness of all the many ways that crafters are making a difference. If I'm looking for a gift, I prefer to purchase something that I love that supports a cause that I love.

Etsy users have banded together to use the site to raise money for a variety of charities. EtsyForCharity is a store devoted to raising money for different charities. This month all proceeds benefit UNICEF.

Most of the stores that are using their items for charity use specific tags for the searches. Feel passionate about breast cancer? You might find something like this pendant. Are you like me and support autism related charities? Check out this bracelet. Proceeds from this item go to a charity that funds teachers salaries in Zambia. How about some yarn for HIV awareness? What have you found?

Sometimes your craft can be your donation. Project Linus, Afghans for Afghans, and Warm Up America are just a few of those charities that accept handmade items. Most of these charities have specific guidelines for donations so if you are interested in contributing, please check before sending items that they will not be able to use.

For me, personally, being able to raise money for Autism Speaks and other autism related charities has given me some peace of mind in knowing that while I may not be able to control the autism, I can control what I do about it.

Next time you shop, try shopping with a cause and support the craft of giving.

*I thought I would go ahead and post this here on my blog as well so I will have a record of it here.

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