Update! WUA has made the difficult decision to suspend accepting donations. In the meantime, keep crocheting and knitting those squares and blankets so you’re ready to send them in when they’ve reopened their submissions!
Knit Picks is teaming up with our sister brand WeCrochet to encourage our community to craft for a cause. We are supporting Warm Up America! (WUA), the charity that warms peoples’ lives, and encouraging donations to this important organization. To participate, knit or crochet any of the following:
- 7″ x 9″ squares (any gauge, any stitch)
- Finished blankets, from throw and lapghan size and larger
- Or choose from WUA’s list of current needs
Then send your finished donations to Warm Up America!
Warm Up America
3740 N Josey Ln Suite #152
Carrollton, TX 75007
Learn more about Warm Up America!
In 1992, Evie Rosen had an idea.
How Warm Up America! was founded
A yarn shop owner who made blankets for homeless people, Rosen spent her spare time knitting afghans for her local shelter. “I can’t knit them fast enough to fill the need,” she said. “But I have an idea: What if we break down the task of making blankets to manageable parts so we can involve lots more people?” Warm Up America! was born.
Warm Up America! Foundation (WUA!) is a non-profit organization that donates knit and crochet blankets and accessories to a variety of people in need. They train volunteers to work together to craft blanket panels, join them, organize them, and ship them to people who need them. The organization that started as one woman’s small vision has grown into more than she ever could have imagined.
Warm Up America’s 7″ x 9″ rectangle panels
One key component of Rosen’s original plan was to encourage yarn crafters to make 7” x 9” knit or crochet panels. Rosen chose this very specific size because the panels could be joined together to make afghans in various sizes as needed.
With a small panel size, the pieces could be completed quickly by crafters of nearly any skill level, and in any stitch, color, or gauge they liked, provided it met the final measurements. The small sections could then be joined all at once by volunteers and made into useful blankets. People loved this idea and she quickly had more donations than she could handle on her own.
With support from The National NeedleArts Association and Craft Yarn Council (CYC), the program became a national success, and the CYC now runs the foundation as their primary charitable organization.
How to get involved with WUA! or donate
Hundreds of thousands of people in need have received donations from WUA! over the years. The foundation receives requests from a variety of social service agencies, including homeless shelters, battered women’s shelters, American Red Cross chapters, veterans homes, senior centers, hospices, and religious organizations serving families and individuals in communities around the country.
Volunteers for WUA! can join their Facebook group, where crafters can share tips and tricks, and each Tuesday at noon central time the WUA! office does a live video unboxing in the group, sharing some of the donations that have arrived.
- View a playlist of WUA! unboxings on Facebook.
If you’d like to get involved, you can donate completed knit or crochet blankets, hats, scarves, gloves, and baby clothing, as well as the 7” x 9” blanket panels that WUA! is most known for. They also accept (and need) monetary donations (which have the added benefit of being tax-deductible).
Find out more about WUA! and how to make, donate, and share at their website: Warm Up America!