When I contacted Phoenix Youth Shelter and asked what knitted items they might need, the answer was somewhat unexpected: twin size blankets (afghans). Making a blanket for charity is a huge commitment, so I started thinking how to break it down into manageable pieces. Maybe we should try it as a community project and see what happens?
Please make the squares, 12 x 12 inches, any stitch pattern, machine washable yarn, and email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange pick up.
UPDATE (Feb, 2017): Since the project started, the local knitters made these beautiful blankets that were donated to the shelter. We also created a great partnership between senior residents at Shannex and the local schools — the older ladies are knitting the squares and the children are putting them together. This project connects three or more generations; offers meaningful engagement for the older citizens, fosters volunteer work in children, and sends a message to the young people in difficult circumstances that they matter and we care about them.
Below is a Q&A with Phoenix.
1. Who those blankets are for?
The blankets are for youth accessing the services at Phoenix – a charitable organization supporting at-risk and homeless youth located in Halifax. Phoenix has an extensive variety of programs and services to help youth find a path from the street aimed for youth primarily between 16 – 24 years of age (with a Prevention program that also sees youth as young as 12 years old and their families). Some of these services include counselling, health care, learning and employment facilities, a youth walk-in centre, advocacy, and residential facilities such as an Emergency shelter (20 beds), a long-term residential facility (10 beds), and three independent living homes (home to 9 youth total).
2. What size should the blankets be?
3. Are there any yarn requirements (machine washable? wool? acrylic? preferred colours? no preference?)
The fabric should be machine washable – otherwise no preference.
4. How many do you need?
We would take as many blankets as you’re able to provide. Apart from our residential facilities we see many youth throughout the year who do not necessarily reside with us, however are limited in resources. Blankets to stay warm would also be a huge help to them.
5. Also, can they be done with different squares?
So… are you in?