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Crafting for a Cause: Blankets for Baby Rhinos

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Crafting for a Cause: Blankets for Baby Rhinos

If the holiday spirit has you itching to craft for a cause, we’d love to introduce you to Blankets for Baby Rhinos. This ‘wildlife conservation craft group’ has been making a big difference for some of our planet’s most precious creatures. They provide crocheted & knitted blankets for orphaned baby animals in need.

Who They Are: Blankets for Baby Rhinos

The group was started last year in 2016 by Sue Brown. Brown is the founder of Rhino Alerts, an organization for fundraising for rhino-related charities.

Blankets for Baby Rhinos Facebook page details the animals served: “including but not limited to rhinos, elephants, orangutans, chimpanzees, baboons, vervet monkeys, meerkats, the odd buffalo and a giraffe.” Some of these babies are rescues, from cruel conditions in circuses or the tourism industry. Others have lost their moms to poaching, as is often the case with baby rhinos whose mothers have been taken for their valued horns.

Blankets for Baby Rhinos

A volunteer offers a blanket to a rhino. Image courtesy of Rhino Revolution.

In addition to serving the babies, winter gear is provided to the people caring for, protecting, and rescuing the wildlife, & those in need in the community surrounding the reservation.

What they do.

The group provides blankets, and also amigurumi toys which act as surrogate mothers to primate babies. The blankets provide necessary warmth for struggling babies and toddlers who cannot regulate body temperature. The babies may have illnesses or injuries, in addition to the shock of losing their parent and possible violence in their previous home. The warmth is key in winter months, but blankets also keep injuries clean (as the alternative is sleeping in straw). The blankets provide comfort, and the babies love to receive them, eventually choosing favorites!

In the press.

You may have seen a recent writeup in the New York Times, about a gift Blankets for Baby Rhinos made to an elephant orphanage in Thailand. The orphanage reached out via Facebook, and was able to receive much-needed blankets during suddenly cold weather. The group has also been featured by The Dodo, and on One Green Planet, as well as other online sources.

Here’s an informative video from United News International (UNI):

So, what can we do?

The first step is to join their Facebook group for more information. You’ll be asked a couple simple questions about your crafting background & location, and an administrator will approve your request. All this coverage has cause the group to blossom to over 1,500 members!

Crafters have been asked to donate blankets or squares (which will be assembled into quilts). Jo Caris, a coordinator for Blankets for Baby Rhinos in France offered a handy guide online. She spoke with the New York Times and said, “Members use 100 percent acrylic yarn as it’s easy to wash and wears well. As for design, we give our members carte blanche and, believe me, some blankets are nothing short of a masterpiece.”

Blankets for Baby Rhinos

As pictured in the New York Times, image courtesy of Save Elephant Foundation.

Blankets for Baby Rhinos has also started a GoFundMe campaign fundraising for support for transportation of blankets. They’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of crafters from around the globe, and hope to be able to share the love. Many organizations and reserves reach out to them via Facebook for help, and they hope to forward these lovingly-made blankets on to more animals in need.

Let us know!

If you’ve fallen in love with this cause and plan to craft with them, let us know! Let us know, too, about any other charities or organizations that hold a special place in your hearts, and on your hooks and needles. It’s part of our New Year’s Resolution to craft well, craft often, and craft with kindness when we can.


Update:

Many commenters have asked if there’s a way to connect with the group for those who don’t use Facebook. We reached out to the group via Facebook to ask! They let us know that, as of now, they are a Facebook-only group. We understand your desire to connect, and would encourage you to research local charities in your areas! We’ll continue to share opportunities monthly to craft for a cause!

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80 Comments

  • What size and where to send

    • Hi, Bobbi! Once you join the Facebook group, the message they’ll send you will include all this info. Happy New Year!

  • Would love to make some blankets where to send thank you

    • Hi, Bobbi! You can request to join their Facebook page here:
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlanketsForBabyRhinos/
      A monitor will approve your request, and they’ll send you a message with more info (including where to mail them to) ASAP!
      Best wishes & Happy New Year!

  • Knitter and crocheter

  • Great program!

    • We thinks so too, Kathy!

  • I can crochet. What size blankets do you need?

    • Hi, Barbara! Your skills would be welcome!
      You can request to join their Facebook page here:
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlanketsForBabyRhinos/
      A monitor will approve your request, and they’ll send you a message with more info (including suggested sizes) ASAP!
      Best wishes & Happy New Year!

  • We gave a group in Zambia Africa, who crochet and knit, can u give us details of organisation s in Africa who need hand made blankets and toys .

  • Would a scheme like this be available to the UK, as it is such a great idea.

  • I’m 68 and have been crocheting and knitting all my adult life. I am also an animal advocate. But have not had the means to donate but I do have a large stash of wool and this seems to me to be the perfect pairing for us both.

    • Hi, Karen! It sounds like a perfect fit. If you request to join their Facebook page here:
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/BlanketsForBabyRhinos/
      they’ll send you a message with all the necessary info.
      And they LOVE when you get creative with patterns! The babies pick our their favorite blankets.
      Happy New Year!

  • Would love information on joining

  • I’m not on Facebook. Are there any other options to contact the group?

    • Hi! I’ve reached out to the group, and have not received any information yet, likely because of the holidays. I’ll updated the post if they reply with an option for non-Facebook-users. Happy New Year!

    • We reached out to the group via Facebook to ask! They let us know that, as of now, they are a Facebook-only group. We understand your desire to connect, and would encourage you to research local charities in your area. We’ll continue to share opportunities monthly to craft for a cause!

  • I just sent in my questionaire…..
    Looking forward to your response.
    Thank You

    • Hi, Marge! We don’t actually oversee the group in any way, just sharing their information so those interested can help them. Glad you’ve reached out to them, and I’m sure you’ll hear back soon! Happy New Year!

  • How do you get the required information if you’re not on Facebook and don’t want to join? I’d love to help. – Anne

    • Hi! I’ve reached out to the group, and have not received any information yet, likely because of the holidays. I’ll updated the post if they reply with an option for non-Facebook-users. Happy New Year!

    • We reached out to the group via Facebook to ask! They let us know that, as of now, they are a Facebook-only group. We understand your desire to connect, and would encourage you to research local charities in your area. We’ll continue to share opportunities monthly to craft for a cause!

  • Hi. I’m not on Facebook. Do you have a website or a group on Ravelry?

    • Hi! I’ve reached out to the group, and have not received any information yet, likely because of the holidays. I’ll updated the post if they reply with an option for non-Facebook-users. Happy New Year!

    • We reached out to the group via Facebook to ask! They let us know that, as of now, they are a Facebook-only group. We understand your desire to connect, and would encourage you to research local charities in your area. We’ll continue to share opportunities monthly to craft for a cause!

  • Sure would love to help out, but I do not use Facebook. Is there any other way to get the necessary information for the many people who don’t have a Facebook account?

    • Hi! I’ve reached out to the group, and have not received any information yet, likely because of the holidays. I’ll updated the post if they reply with an option for non-Facebook-users. Happy New Year!

    • We reached out to the group via Facebook to ask! They let us know that, as of now, they are a Facebook-only group. We understand your desire to connect, and would encourage you to research local charities in your area. We’ll continue to share opportunities monthly to craft for a cause!

  • Hi Great cause. I am not on facebook, but still want to help. What other way can I help. I am a retired school teacher and have been crocheting for many years and donate to other causes. I am an animal advocate too.

    • Hi! I’ve reached out to the group, and have not received any information yet, likely because of the holidays. I’ll updated the post if they reply with an option for non-Facebook-users. Happy New Year!

    • We reached out to the group via Facebook to ask! They let us know that, as of now, they are a Facebook-only group. We understand your desire to connect, and would encourage you to research local charities in your area. We’ll continue to share opportunities monthly to craft for a cause!

  • Any possibility of receiving info other than FB? I don’t do FB.
    Thanks.

    • Hi! I’ve reached out to the group, and have not received any information yet, likely because of the holidays. I’ll updated the post if they reply with an option for non-Facebook-users. Happy New Year!

    • We reached out to the group via Facebook to ask! They let us know that, as of now, they are a Facebook-only group. We understand your desire to connect, and would encourage you to research local charities in your area. We’ll continue to share opportunities monthly to craft for a cause!

  • What a wonderful cause.. I’ve totally fallen in love with it and just applied to join the Facebook page. Will be knitting and crocheting for them in 2018.

    • Hi, Christine – how lovely! So glad you’ve connected with them, they’ll be lucky to have you. Happy New Year!

  • Is there another method of contact besides Facebook?

    • Hi! I’ve reached out to the group, and have not received any information yet, likely because of the holidays. I’ll updated the post if they reply with an option for non-Facebook-users. Happy New Year!

    • We reached out to the group via Facebook to ask! They let us know that, as of now, they are a Facebook-only group. We understand your desire to connect, and would encourage you to research local charities in your area. We’ll continue to share opportunities monthly to craft for a cause!

  • I don’t do Facebook, don’t want the hassle of more passwords. Can you give me the direct link, I would like to keep this effort going too…………sounds like we crochet/knitting senior citizens are not quite done. Animals need us. Thank you for great info. I have the time/hands/acrylic yarn, am ready to help out.
    Norma

    • Hi! I’ve reached out to the group, and have not received any information yet, likely because of the holidays. I’ll updated the post if they reply with an option for non-Facebook-users. Happy New Year!

    • We reached out to the group via Facebook to ask! They let us know that, as of now, they are a Facebook-only group. We understand your desire to connect, and would encourage you to research local charities in your area. We’ll continue to share opportunities monthly to craft for a cause!

  • I’m not on face book and don’t wish to join. Is there an email contact?

    • Hi! I’ve reached out to the group, and have not received any information yet, likely because of the holidays. I’ll updated the post if they reply with an option for non-Facebook-users. Happy New Year!

    • We reached out to the group via Facebook to ask! They let us know that, as of now, they are a Facebook-only group. We understand your desire to connect, and would encourage you to research local charities in your area. We’ll continue to share opportunities monthly to craft for a cause!

  • HI, I AM AN OLDER LADY AND I DO NOT “DO FACEBOOK”
    IS THERE ANY OTHER WAY TO GET IN TOUCH WITH THESE RHINO BLANKET PEOPLE, PLEASE.
    I DO WISH THE WORLD WOULD CATER FOR THOSE OF US WHO CANNOT DO , OR L;IKE ME, DO NOT WANT TO GET INVOLVED WITH ALL THESE NEW FORMS OF CONVERSATION. NORMAL EMAIL SHOULD BE AVAILABLE FOR SOME OF US..
    THNAKYOU.

    • Hi! I’ve reached out to the group, and have not received any information yet, likely because of the holidays. I’ll updated the post if they reply with an option for non-Facebook-users. Happy New Year!

    • We reached out to the group via Facebook to ask! They let us know that, as of now, they are a Facebook-only group. We understand your desire to connect, and would encourage you to research local charities in your area. We’ll continue to share opportunities monthly to craft for a cause!

  • Hi there. I don’t do Facebook, is there another way for me to get the necessary information? I knit and crochet and would really love to help!

    • Hi! I’ve reached out to the group, and have not received any information yet, likely because of the holidays. I’ll updated the post if they reply with an option for non-Facebook-users. Happy New Year!

    • We reached out to the group via Facebook to ask! They let us know that, as of now, they are a Facebook-only group. We understand your desire to connect, and would encourage you to research local charities in your area. We’ll continue to share opportunities monthly to craft for a cause!

  • Saw the video… do they take fabric blankets also?

    • Hi, Ceecee – I’m not sure! You might want to connect with them via Facebook, and ask directly. Happy New Year!

  • I can’t believe no one has replied to all these comments from people who don’t have or use Facebook but want to help out this worthy cause. I, too, do not use Facebook and would very much like to be involved with this charity. If someone could back to all of us non-facebook-ers with contact information that would be splendid. Please respond ASAP!
    Thanks

    • Hi, Amanda! I’ve reached out to the group, and have not received any information yet, likely because of the holidays. I’ll updated the post if they reply with an option for non-Facebook-users. The only information available via multiple posts & the New York Times article was to connect with them via Facebook, so hopefully someone will respond with another option, if there is one available. Happy New Year!

    • We reached out to the group via Facebook to ask! They let us know that, as of now, they are a Facebook-only group. We understand your desire to connect, and would encourage you to research local charities in your area. We’ll continue to share opportunities monthly to craft for a cause!

  • I don’t do Facebook. How do help?

    • Hi! I’ve reached out to the group, and have not received any information yet, likely because of the holidays. I’ll updated the post if they reply with an option for non-Facebook-users. Happy New Year!

    • We reached out to the group via Facebook to ask! They let us know that, as of now, they are a Facebook-only group. We understand your desire to connect, and would encourage you to research local charities in your area. We’ll continue to share opportunities monthly to craft for a cause!

  • This is so cool! I used to tell people that I almost gave up writing in order to make blankets for homeless cats, but then was offered a publishing contract, so I bailed out on the cats. But this…this is totally worth a missed deadline or two!

    • Hi, Teri Anne – thanks for writing! Glad you’re interested in them, & happy new year!

  • I’m not on Facebook either. Would love to be part of this. How do we join in the project?

    • Hi! I’ve reached out to the group, and have not received any information yet, likely because of the holidays. I’ll update the post if they reply with an option for non-Facebook-users. Happy New Year!

    • We reached out to the group via Facebook to ask! They let us know that, as of now, they are a Facebook-only group. We understand your desire to connect, and would encourage you to research local charities in your area. We’ll continue to share opportunities monthly to craft for a cause!

  • I wish I could participate, but I do not use Facebook. There should be an alternative way to sign up.

    • We reached out to the group via Facebook to ask! They let us know that, as of now, they are a Facebook-only group. We understand your desire to connect, and would encourage you to research local charities in your area. We’ll continue to share opportunities monthly to craft for a cause!

  • Help!!! I am not on face book so where do I go from here if I want to make and donate a blanket?

    • We reached out to the group via Facebook to ask! They let us know that, as of now, they are a Facebook-only group. We understand your desire to connect, and would encourage you to research local charities in your area. We’ll continue to share opportunities monthly to craft for a cause!

  • Hi I’m wondering if Lionbrand itself is involved in at least some yarns donations to this wonderful cause? That will be very honourable

  • I don’t and won’t use Facebook but want to participate directly by offering my knitting for these wonderful creatures. Please let us know how to reach without Facebook interference.

    • We reached out to the group via Facebook to ask! They let us know that, as of now, they are a Facebook-only group. We understand your desire to connect, and would encourage you to research local charities in your area. We’ll continue to share opportunities monthly to craft for a cause!

  • I want to help out, please send a address as to where I can send my extra yarn and or blankets.
    Thank You

    • Hi, Michele! As of now, the best way to connect with this group is via Facebook. You can find them through the link in the post, and request to join.

  • I’ve requeted to join their group. Was wondering if you provide yarn I can use to knit the blankets. Anything would do, mismatched or whatever you have, discontinued even. Let me know.

  • What does someone do to get involved if not on Facebook?

  • How can I get involved? I sew and have made quilts.

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