In 1991 Warm Up America! started in a small Wisconsin town with knitters and crocheters making afghans for neighbors in need. Today Warm Up America! distributes warm afghans, caps and other items to tens of thousands of people, thanks to the generosity of knitters and crocheters around the country.
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Volunteers crochet or knit a single 7″ x 9″ rectangle (or more). Sections are either joined by individuals or groups in a community, creating a patchwork quilt of many colors and textures, just as the participants and recipients represent the varied faces of America. Then these afghans are donated locally or sent to Foundation headquarters for joining and distribution.
Volunteers are encouraged to work with friends, co-workers and family members to complete an afghan and donate it in their community. Warm Up America! encourages local community groups and young peoples’ associations to get involved. To find organizations that might want your gifts, look under social service agencies or social and human services in your local phonebook.
However, if no group or organization is found, the Foundation’s office serves as a collection point both for individual sections and for completed afghans. Warm Up America! afghans are distributed to individuals and families in need through chapters of national organizations as well as community service organizations which include nursing homes, children’s hospitals, hospices, homeless shelters, women’s shelters, etc.
The Foundation maintains a request list of charitable agencies. As afghan blankets are received at the Foundation, they are shipped to the agency on the top of the list. Contact is maintained with the agencies on the Foundation’s database before and after shipping the afghans.
For more information, including free patterns, how-to tips and labels to print, visit Warm Up America! at www.craftyarncouncil.com.