September is Self Improvement Month and September 15 is Make a Hat day, perfect motivations to crochet for charity. You can help members of your community as well as those around the world by sharing the gift of crochet by donating. And, you’ll be helping yourself at the same time.
Make a Hat Day has no real origin story. However, it’s thought to have started because preschool, kindergarten and grade school teachers were looking for something fun and inspiring to do early in the school year. The rules for Make a Hat day are simple – make a hat for yourself or give it to someone else.
As a general rule, crocheters just love to make things for others, especially if it’s for a good cause. In the spirit of Self Improvement month, consider that giving to others takes the focus off of oneself and places it on the needs of others. We’re improved when we’re kind to others. At a time when individualism is being promoted, it’s nice to think about community and how we can help.
Why crochet a hat?
Hats of all shapes and sizes are hugely popular, especially for charity. They’re inexpensive, quick to make and can show off a bit of your personality as well as the person who receives the hat. Hats can be made for all ages and for so many different purposes.
- Chemo caps for all ages suffering from hair loss
- Hats for newborns and preemies to keep the babies warm
- Hats for those in homeless shelters during the cold winter months
Hat patterns for you
If you’re looking for some inspiration, I’ve created a roundup post that features hat patterns that you could use to donate to charity. Most are free on the designers’ blogs (with ad-free PDFs available) and others are premium. Click on the button below to find some fun, quick hats you can crochet for charity or for yourself.
Where are donated hats needed?
Look in your community.
In your own community, there is need. With a little bit of sleuthing, you can find organizations that accept donations like handmade hats. Look to local hospitals, nursing homes, children’s shelters and churches. These organizations either know of a place to donate or will accept donations to distribute to other organizations.
Here’s an example of how you might help…
A number of years ago, I was leading a small group of high school girls at my church. At the beginning of one school year, I offered to teach them how to crochet if they promised to make at least one scarf to donate to a homeless shelter our church was affiliated with. That first year, we gathered 8 scarves. It doesn’t seem like much but it was a great lesson for the girls and the scarves were very much appreciated.
After that first year, I opened the request up to my university community and averaged over 200 scarves each year. The scarves were donated by faculty, students…one sorority adopted it as a service project. The power of making for others is strong and this was proof positive.
In my community, Family Connection is an organization that supports families to help kids succeed in school. Part of their mission is to make sure every child has proper clothing in the cold winter months. Through donations, they manage to provide winter gear for over 500 kids a year. I’ll bet there’s an organization in your area that would accept crocheted hats.
National ‘Crochet for Charity’ organizations
Look beyond your community.
If you’re looking for something on a larger scale, a simple internet search will turn up quite a few possibilities. In the meantime, I’ve gathered a few here to get you started.
Crochet for Cancer is “a Christian volunteer-based non-profit that donates handmade chemo caps to cancer centers for patients coping with hair loss.” The website offers information about the organization and has a page full of patterns appropriate for chemo caps.
The mission of this organization “is to help people experiencing the effects of chemo by providing handmade gifts of love, connection, and warmth.” While they accept other items, their primary focus is beanies.
I know…this post is about crochet. But, hear me out!
Nicole Haschke has put together an amazing website that gives you ALL the information you may need if you’ve never made for charity. On the website, she has numerous resources to help you find charitable organizations and how to get started. Just substitute ‘crochet’ for ‘knitting’ and you’ll be good to go!
The Seamen’s Church Institute advocates for the personal, professional, and spiritual well-being of merchant mariners around the world. The Christmas at Sea program accepts hats and scarves that are included in boxes the seamen receive when they have to be at sea at Christmas. You should definitely read more about this amazing program.
Last but not least is a program you may have heard of. The Hat not Hate organization brings awareness to anti-bullying during the month of October. Blue hats are crocheted and knitted, donated, then distributed to schools around the country to help students show their support for anti-bullying.
These are just a few options for donating a hat. There is so much need in our communities and in the world and so much crochet love to share. Let’s go make some hats!
Hear from other crocheters!
Several of my crochet friends have written their own perspectives on Make a Hat Day. Click on the designer’s name to head to their blog post.