Each month, we feature a charity that is helping people through knitting and crochet. This month's charity is Binky Patrol.
Susan Finch founded Binky Patrol when she realized the need for a charity flexible enough to fit busy schedules. With just 5 volunteers and fabric remnants from a local framing shop, Finch's group began working with no quotas, no training, and no schedule. Soon they were donating handmade baby blankets (binkies) to local hospitals, women's shelters, and police departments. Since then, Binky Patrol has expanded to a 501 (c)(3) organization with over 160 chapters and 20,000 volunteers. The charity has also been featured nationally by The Oprah Winfrey Show and Family Circle.
Each binky comforts a child in need between the ages of 0 and 18. Binkies can range in size from 2 feet by 2 feet to the size of a twin bed. Any soft, wool-free, machine-washable yarn or fleece can be used (we recommend easy-care yarns like Vanna's Choice Baby, Pound of Love, and Babysoft). Knitters and crocheters may use any pattern they like, such as Grandma’s Favorite Afghan or the Delightful Tweed Baby Blanket. All donations are tax-deductible in the United States.
October 24, 2009 is National Make a Difference Day, and Binky Patrol is celebrating through its annual Bink-A-Thon. Across America, crafters are getting together in groups to make as many binkies as possible from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. To participate, locate and contact your local chapter on the Binky Patrol website for more information. If there are no chapters near you, consider holding your own Bink-A-Thon alone or with a few friends. To submit your donation for the Bink-A-Thon or any time of the year, follow your local chapter's instructions or UPS or FedEx your completed binkies to the following address:
Binky Patrol, Inc.
c/o Carolyn Berndt
19065 Ridgeview Rd.
Villa Park, CA 92861
For more information on starting a chapter, finding local events, and more, visit the Binky Patrol website at binkypatrol.org.