As craftswomen and men we are in the unique position of being able to create original and unique items. If you are like me, you have probably inundated your family and friends with all manner of handmade gifts over the years. If you are looking for new victims you might like to think about organisations both here and abroad that welcome handmade items either as donations for people who need clothing or toys or as items for fund raising.

The Hamlin Fistula Hospital is one such. While they currently have sufficient knitted blankets, they still need other items.
Wrap with Love is an organization we all know about. There is also Knit 4 Charity which coordinates monthly projects. There are plenty of people in hospitals, retirement villages, dementia wards who will spend Christmas in bed and may feel a bit miserable to miss out on the Christmas cheer. Some handmade toys would be a lovely gift for kids, knee rugs, throws or blankets for older folk. Hospitals often have volunteer-run shops that sell handmade gifts. Here’s a way to give twice. Your own hand made item raises funds for the hospital and provides a unique, beautiful gift for a patient.
We are a wealthy country and yet there is still so much poverty. Organisations like the Exodus Foundation try to address that need by putting on a Christmas lunch and giving small gifts to needy people on Christmas Day. Our Guild helps with this every year by collecting gifts from members. We will do it again this year, so if you come to our Christmas meeting please bring something to share with someone less fortunate. I will collect gifts and deliver them to the church in Ashfield after the meeting.
One of the other thrills I had as a kid was waiting to see how the gifts I had bought would be accepted. It was always wonderful when my aunt would exclaim that a small bar of smelly soap or some bath salts was exactly what she had hoped for. The little china vase that was, for my mother, the most wonderful gift of all time. There was eagerness in getting but a lot of fun to be had in giving as well. These days I don’t want anything else for myself but contributing to charities is one way I can still feel a part of the season and recapture some of the excitement and meaning of Christmas.
Some suggestions
Exodus Foundation: gifts eg toiletries packs, handkerchiefs, toys for children, picture books. Non perishable foods with ring pulls and photos on the can.
Wrap with Love
Square Donations for rugs and toys for people in need to donate squares for blankets, for people affected by the bush fires.
Also local nursing homes, women’s shelters/ refuges, animal rescue organisations (pet blankets or items for fund raising)
Ann Beatty