If you’re looking for a cause to craft for as we head into colder weather, check out Binky Patrol!
Susan Finch started with a simple idea: anyone can volunteer. For those who feel constrained by a lack of time, money or talent, she started Binky Patrol. It’s a simple, accessible way for anyone to make a difference in their community. They are now a national 501c3 organization made up entirely of volunteers! Helpers donate money or fabric, or mail completed binkies to self-organized chapters. Chapters in communities across the country even host Bink-A-Thons to craft together! A binky is any cozy blanket, made by someone who cares, and given to a child who is facing a difficult situation.
It’s a small gesture, a simple gift from a stranger, but it’s what the holiday season is all about, and we all know it makes a big difference in the life of the receiver.
Binkies are sent to children facing difficult situations. Some of these kids face health challenges: born HIV Positive, addicted to drugs, suffering from chronic or terminal illnesses. Kids receiving binkies could also face difficult situations at home: abuse, foster care, homelessness, or loss of a family member. Binky Patrol looks to provide comfort to those who need it most. They check with local area shelters, hospitals, emergency foster care agencies & other groups to see who is in need. They focus on the ‘invisible kids’ in a community; those who are slipping through the cracks in the system. Any child in need of a reminder that they are seen, heard, & cared for by something they might not even know.
Their youtube channel, Binky Patrol, includes many wonderful videos about how to get started, DIYs for different patterns & styles of crafting, and a How-To Guide for starting your own Binky Patrol chapter.
All patterns are acceptable, and many freebies are provided on their website to get you started. Each binky is between 2’x2’ and twin bed size. Materials must be soft and washable – making it through the washer & drier on the highest setting. Most shelters and hospitals are unable to take time for ‘special care’ washing instructions. If you’re making a blanket with batting, Binky Patrol recommends using a 3/8” to ½” inch seam allowance, to prevent any incidents of littler kids choking on materials. Binkies must come from smoke-free homes.
This is an amazing project to do solo, with spare time & extra fabric or yarn, and it’s an inclusive project that can be done with friends of all ages & crafting sensibilities. For more information about how to participate at various levels, check out this page on their website.
And please share with us if this is a group you’ve crafted for before, or if you’re going to cast on a binky project this season!