Before I had my first child I was more of an animal lover and donated my time and treasure to causes that benefitted animals. I didn’t grow up around children or know anyone with kids so it just wasn’t really something I was connected to. But after I had my son I had this profound realization: I was responsible for everything that went into his mind, body, and soul. I couldn’t get over how every word I spoke, everything I fed him, every action I made, was ingested into this tiny little being and would effect him, literally forever. That realization grew into having immense compassion for children and empathy for those with a less then perfect childhood. Which is why I started Stitches For Kids.
I started a knitting group in September 2013 with the idea of doing meetings labeled, Knitting For A Cause, where all the items created and donated could be given to children in need. Having never done this type of thing I used the only resources I could think of: Google and my phone. I called a local foster children’s agency named Kid’s Crossing and discussed my plans for our group and what my hopes were. They were incredibly thankful and excited about the idea and decided to partner with us. Then when they explained what the foster process is like, I knew it was a perfect fit.
We’ve all know someone who’s been “in the system” but hearing it from the prospective of the agency was life changing. Children end up in the foster care system through extreme circumstances such as; abandonment, abuse, death of a caretaker, court order and other traumatic situations. Kid’s Crossing explained, “it doesn’t matter how horrible their circumstances were, these children are being ripped from the only life they have ever known and it’s terrifying.” They also explained that when a child is removed from their home it is without any personal items. “Rarely does the child get to bring a toy, doll, favorite blanket, or even their own clothing. They have nothing to comfort them in the most terrifying experience of their lives.” It was unbearable hearing all the horrible things children had to go through to find a home and feel comfort during such an awful time. I looked at my son who was well dressed, ate the best foods available, had all the toys he could ask for, and was so deeply loved, and I couldn’t help but think, “it’s an injustice for any child to feel less than this.”
Through bi-weekly meetings and the quick hands of a group of knitters, we collected bags and bags of items in our first year and even received media coverage. We donated toys, hats, blankets, onesies, and even “hip” items for the older children such as beanies, cowls, scarves and more. I can’t even explain how full my heart felt delivering bag after after to Kid’s Crossing, knowing that these items were going to children in need and that they would be the tiny light in a time of darkness. Now in our second year I am applying for non profit status and am even doing a Handmade Holiday Drive for people to donate handmade items. I have since closed the knitting group but am very excited to see where Stitches For Kids is heading. Unfortunately, there are so many foster kids in the system that knitting didn’t seem like enough so I wanted to expand what we do even further. Fortunately, there are so many crafters of all types who want to help which means Stitches For Kids is now open to all handmade items including felted, sewn, crochet, knitting, embroidery etc.
I never thought I would be running an organization like this or that it would take off the way it has but I am so grateful it has and that we’re making such s huge impacts in a children’s lives. I was once going through a hardship and was anonymously given a handmade item that brightened a very dark time. That person didn’t know me or what I was going through but it made a world of difference and that’s what we’re giving to a child. I always say, “making a handmade gift is a way of taking your love and turning it into a tangible item for someone to cherish.” If we can give our love to a child who literally has nothing, then I would say that’s the best thing we could possibly hope for.
*If you or someone you know would like to help Stitches For Kid’s and foster children in need you can send your handmade items year round to:
Stitches For Kids
17389 Nature Walk Trail #102 Parker, CO 80134
We can accept: Toys, any type of clothing, hats, gloves, dolls, scarves, and anything else you think would be suitable for children ages 0-18. All items will be given to a child to love and cherish.