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Home : Community : Charity Connection : Stories : My organization

Stories from the Heart

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Caring and Sharing

While so many of us love making things for ourselves and our families, many in the Lion community go further, creating for those in need. Join us in this section and be touched by these true stories of caring and sharing submitted by Lion Brand readers.

Got a story you'd like to share?  Click here to send it to our editors!

My organization

In 2003, I was trying to find a place in my area to donate some scarves and hats I knit and found out that there weren't any that benefited my target group on a regular basis.

I called a couple of friends who also knit and decided to start my own nonprofit. We started out slowly, our first donation being 135 items to a local social services organization.

We have a small website and are amazed how many people from different states send their beautifully made items. Our local "core group" consists of four to five women who continually knit. One gal knits 100 hats per month when she isn't being a snow bird during the winter months.

I found a local organization that was willing to attach us as a 501(e)c and we work together to provide their clients with hats, mittens, scarves and afghans. Typically we work with organizations such as Head Start, WCMCA, Inc, Salvation Army, local doctors offices, batter womens shelters and also if their is a major disaster such as a tornado out of our target area we also donate to those. We sent a dozen afghans to the school in Sandy Hook and donate hundreds of items to the citizens of Wadena, MN when they were struck with a horrid tornado.

Our items are all knit with arcylic yarn and many people who do not knit will donate yarn to the organization. I prefer to work with Vanna's Choice yarn for the items I create.

We have been featured in several local newspapers thus far which does really help our cause and several area churches donate funds to us on a yearly basis.

We found a need in central North Dakota and last fall donated 900 hats to those neighbors as well.

To date we have donated over 30,000 items to children and adults living in poverty in west Central Minnesota and beyond. It is my purpose in life as I am a disabled adult and although I can no longer work in my profession, I can contribute as a member of society and do something that will benefit others.

We do not "tag" our items as we feel the people we give to should be able to keep their dignity and we have our local organizations do the distributions for us. We do not do this for our own personal glory, we do it from the heart. We do not take any money for our own costs of adminstration, it all goes to the kids. However, we do love when places like WCMCA shares stories with us of the kids delight and the tears in their parents eyes because someone took the time to handcraft and donate warm items for their children. Or when one of the recipients took the time to find out who donated to their children and we got the sweetest note from a little eight year old. That is the only type of thank yous we ever need.

And when I share the story of that little eight year old or tell of how we found out that a mother and daughter in North Dakota were sharing a winter hat, it touches peoples hearts and they begin to realize with just one hat or scarf they too can make a big difference in the life of a child.

Marybeth Potts, President
Nimble Fingers on the Prairie

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