Donate your goods
There are lots of local places would love to have your un-wanted or leftover craft supplies. Try local schools and kindergartens, retirement centers, boys and girls clubs, day care centers and churches.
Use your creativity for good
If you belong to a craft, knitting or patchwork circle, or any other kind of creative collaborative, there are so many things you can do to help your community. There are many established groups and charities, but if nothing exists for your chosen charity, or if your chosen charity only takes monetary donations, you can also do your bit by pooling your creative talents with your crafty friends, getting busy with a workshop then, donating the goods to be sold by the charity, or holding your own stall and donating the proceeds.
Knit up a storm for a cause
Each year, from June to August, the Guardian Angel Knitting Program encourages all Australians to knit items including clothes, blankets, scarves and beanies for Save The Children. Last year, Australia's Guardian Angels generously donated hand-crafted garments for more than two million children and they are encouraging more Aussies, young and old, to help.
Help a girl out on the other side of the world
Lack of sanitary supplies often means days without school, income and even leaving the house for many girls in developing countries, with some using mattress stuffing, newspaper, corn husks, rocks and anything else they can find. Despite this, many are still missing up to 2 months of school every year. This is where Days For Girls comes in - distribute sustainable feminine hygiene kits to thousands of impoverished communities - and best of all, if you have some time, a sewing machine and some scrap flannel fabric, you could help out. Click here for more information.
Jumpers for Penguins
There's nothing cuter than a penguin in a wooly jumper, but this is no fashion statement. Knitted jumpers save little penguins affected by oil pollution by preventing them from preening and swallowing toxic oil before they have been washed. 453 little penguins were affected by the last major oil spill near Phillip Island in 2001. 96% were successfully saved and rehabilitated at the Wildlife Clinic and released back into the wild, thanks to Knit for Nature. For more information click here.
Knit a trauma teddy
A Trauma Teddy is a special bear knitted by volunteers and given to children and adults during traumatic times. So if you are a willing and able knitter, Red Cross would love to hear from you, and new members are welcome. Red Cross will provide patterns and filling. Also in demand are Chemo Turbans - these are so simple to make, but a real comfort to those who are going through treatment for cancer.
Want to help out, but can't find a craft group near you? Then donate online and raise money! Made4aid is a non-profit-making organisation, raising money for aid and relief work through the generosity of creative people around the world. Handmade art or craft items - or materials - can be donated to made4aid and will be sold online to raise money for aid. All proceeds go to the relief work of Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders).
Keep a kitten or puppy in need warm this winter
Many animal shelters are quite often in need of blankets, jackets and toys for cats and dogs as winter rolls around. Shelter such as Animal Aid and Cat Protection Society often call out for blankets and jackets so they can continue their dedication to the care of all lost, unwanted and abused animals.
Get some inspiration
If you don't' have a lot of money to give away, but you do have time, then take a look at Craft Hope for inspiration. Started by Jade Sims in 2009, The Craft Hope blog organises crafters to make handmade items for charities, and has since attracted followers around the world. Each project is matched with a specific charity, with alternative suggestions for local places to contribute the item.
Make a possum pouch
If you want to help our wildlife but are unable to commit to rescue or care volunteering, then it's time to get your knitting needles clacking and make some possum pouches. When young wombats, gliders, wallabys, bandicoots or possums come into care at WIRES (Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service) they need to be kept warm and quiet. The pouches are used for many different animals, some for two or three young ringtails at once, others for brushtail joeys which are larger and even for very young bandicoots.