Several years ago, inmates at the North Carolina Correctional Instruction for Women began knitting and crocheting hats for their children from whom they were separated. These women wanted to contribute to their communities, so they began making hats for Handcrafted and Totally Special (HATS). HATS has now expanded beyond just hats, accepting scarves, blankets, and other knitted and crocheted items. These collected accessories are then given away in exchange for a donation. All of the proceeds support Our Children's Place, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that allows women serving sentences for non-violent convictions to live with their young children.
HATS is currently looking for scarves and adult-sized hats, particularly for men. HATS is based in a warm climate, so they ask that volunteers try to use cotton or lightweight yarns. (Consider yarns like Nature's Choice Organic Cotton, Recycled Cotton, Lion Cotton, or Cotton-Ease.) However, donations made from any fiber will be accepted. Be sure to include a note listing your donation's fiber content and care instructions.
You can also donate materials to HATS. Because the organization works with incarcerated women, they can only accept plastic knitting needles and crochet hooks. Any type of yarn, including leftovers, is acceptable for donation. Materials and finished items can be sent to the following address:
Our Children's Place/HATS
P.O. Box 1086
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514
For more information about HATS and Our Children's Place, please visit ourchildrensplace.com.
Patterns to consider include: