Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bev's Charity Challenge group

A few years ago I started this yahoo group (*see below) of wonderful gals who knit, crochet and sew for humanitarian causes all over the world and it's called "Bev's Charity Challenge". I have a great friend, Chris Hilfiker, who is my brilliant 'numbers cruncher'. I could never run the group without her.

Each member sets a personal, annual goal to try to meet. Some choose 12--one item for each month, some members choose 1000 or more! (Which boggles my mind!).

It's a fun group where each member is required to set up a file in our numbers database after they join, and then they update their file with at least ONE handmade item per month, preferably members update each Saturday. On tough months (and we all have those), or months when they have a huge item to make like an afghan, they can just update the date in there once a week or so.

The group generates quite a bit of email so for those who don't want all that email, they can set their membership at 'daily digest' or 'special notices'. We love to hear from members, and so feel free to write, and post links to your fave patterns, or ideas to help others. Often we have prayer requests for members or their families and friends, and we all pull together to pray for those individuals. Membership is primarily different denominations of Christians, but we do welcome people of all faiths.

We occasionally hold super fun contests and members volunteer to donate prizes for those!! I love the contests!
The great thing about those is, the winner is not necessarily the one who donates the most each time, it's about actually making something to help the particular charity Chris and I choose for that contest. For each item donated, the donator received ONE chance to win in the final draw. So if they donate 3 items, they get their name put in the hat 3 times, if they donate 37 items they get 37 chances!

We don't choose a certain charity you
have to donate to each month, but occasionally we will hear of a need and encourage members to make things for that particular cause. Normally though, each member chooses where to donate the things they make. Well, I posted an * up above which explains more about how the group started so here you go, if you are curious:

Several years ago I attended a BYU women's conference up in Provo, Utah. Each year at those conferences we attend wonderful lectures and classes, and we also get kits to make things for people in need. At the end of the conference, which normally consists of like 15,000+ LDS women, they give a preliminary report of how many items were made that year. It's always a grand number as you can imagine.

Well, one time the final speaker spoke of how she and other representatives of the Church, were in a country - I want to say one in Africa; where they handed out Newborn Kits to as many moms as they had kits. In many countries there, they do not let you take your newborn home until you have clothing for the baby...

This one new mom came running over and begged for a kit for her baby, but they were out. It turns out that they were about 500 kits shorts on that trip, but they vowed they would NOT run short again. I cried when I heard about this poor mama, with her arms wrapped around the Relief Society Presidents legs, begging her for even a pair of booties or diapers for her little one, but there were no more. I vowed then and there, that I would personally make 500 pairs of newborn booties for their kits so they would have those to take next time!! This was in April or May of that year and I actually made my goal and made 500 pairs that year to send up to Salt Lake City! I about went nuts mind you, but that was how the Charity Challenge group got it's start. Others wanted to join me and make goals and crochet and knit their goals too for that year.

Anyhow, even ONE pair of booties would have helped that mama, so never underestimate the profound power of ONE! It might seem like nothing to you, but to someone in need it is everything!

Hat pattern from BYU Women's Conference 2003:
2 oz worsted weight yarn
Size I hook
Chain 39 sts
Sc in 2nd ch from hook, ch 1 and turn
Sc in 2nd sc from hook, ch 1 and turn
Continue for 54 rows

Fold hat in half and stitch seam shut
Weave through top of hat and pull tightly.
Make a pom pom and stitch into top hole.

We currently have few than 100 members of Bev's Charity Challenge, but we would love to get more active charity crafters involved... if you are dedicated to helping others... if you can knit, crochet or sew... if you are willing to set a goal and then keep track in a database... we NEED you!

Hope you will consider signing up and joining us in this challenge!

Have a beautiful weekend! Hug the ones you love! And make something to help someone else this week.



HilsGal said...

OMG Bev - I just realized that I am with you on this for 6 years. WOW

One thing - you don't have to update on Saturday, you can do it any day - the reminder goes out on Saturday.

As for making so many items - not everybody has several jobs like you do. Crafting for Charity IS my job - hence the big numbers

Love ya

Catherine said...

you can also loom knit or make fleece scarves & thay count! God bless!

Anonymous said...

I M going to crochet thumb booties for new borns in the Congo. However, they are best done in 100% cotton so they can be easily cared for. Hope its OK but I am going to redo your pattern so that I can crochet it in the smaller cotton yarn and come out with the same size booties. These are given to "bribe" pregnant ladies to come to the clinic or the hospital to have their babies. Whole layette sets are offered too and the women really want these for their babies so it helps get them the proper pre-natal care and healthy delivery process.

bevq said...

That's a wonderful idea Dorothy! Good for you. How do you get items to the Congo?

Georgie said...

Dear Bev,
Tried to send you an e-mail, but it bounced, so I'll try this way! I have been a fan of your site for quite some time, and wanted you to know that I was inspired to knit a bunny using the same ideas behind your Buddy Bear. I thought you might like to see it:

Thanks for all you do to make the world a more beautiful place.


bevq said...

Hi Georgie- which email addy did you use? That's very odd that it would bounce! Was it
or my yahoo one?

Melissa said...

I am thinking of signing up for your challenge I do crochet and sew mostly for charity but I actually have a question on one of your patterns it is the one for Bev's Newborn Baby Jacket under Starting at the top of the Shirt
you have Rows2-5 then Rows2-6 right below it I am doing the preemie measurements but what I am wondering is am I supposed to do the row 2-5 as that is for a preemie or is that a typo and supposed to be row 2 and the next one is supposed to be row 3-6?

Thank you

bevq said...

That was a typo-- hopefully it's correct now. So many have made that jacket and I have too and never noticed that type. Sorry about that.