As knottygnome points out, if you want to help, the best thing you can do with your money is donate it directly to a charity, in the spirit of the Harlot’s Knitters Without Borders project.

I’ve donated some money to the Red Cross via their Text to Help campaign, just because it was convenient (no digging around for my credit card!) although I’ve read that they don’t have the greatest CharityNavigator score, and other charities that have been long established in Haiti might be able to put the money to better use. But it was easy as pie–text “HAITI” to 90999, send back a response to the returning text to confirm your donation, one more response to say whether you want to be added to their mailing list thing (no thanks!) and done, the $10 donation will be added to my phone bill at the end of the month.

I also sent a larger donation to Partners In Health on my mom’s recommendation. This is the organization founded by Paul Farmer, who was profiled in Tracy Kidder’s book Mountains Beyond Mountains.

My stepmother recommended donating to the What If? Foundation, which has been active in Haiti since 2000: “This is a group I’ve contributed to for years and absolutely trust. It was started by a lone individual, a woman named Margaret Trost who lives around here, and she has done amazing work in getting people fed daily meals, using local people to help serve and prepare food. I like donating to organizations that are “on the ground” and this one definitely qualifies.”

As the Yarn Harlot notes, it’s helpful to these charities if you designate your donation as “undirected” rather than specifying that it must be used for Haitian earthquake relief: “Money given to a specific fund can only be used for that area and making sure your donation is undirected helps them a lot. It lets them keep serving other crises that continue to happen while the world watches Haiti, and more importantly, it allows them to be first responders.”

However, while sending money directly is all well and good, I do think a little carrot every now and then doesn’t go amiss. My (perhaps cynical or ungenerous?) feeling is that if you feel like you’re getting something for your money, you’ll probably be willing to give more, total, in the end.

So if you’re interested in a little something beyond sheer altruism, I thought I would mention a few crafty fundraising efforts I’ve noticed around and about:

Aside from those patterns from my queue, I also found a bunch of other lovely patterns I’m considering:

  • I also added my patterns Metheglin (two-color cowl with floating hexagons) and The Windflower Scarf (lengthwise, reversible anemone stitch scarf) to the Help for Haiti list, and will be donating 75% of January sales from these patterns to Doctors Without Borders. I won’t come anywhere near Ysolda’s total, but it’s a drop in the bucket, at least, in addition to the personal donations I have already made or was planning to make.
  • Check out this Etsy site called Craft Hope, where sellers have donated a variety of goods at a variety of price points–100% of sales going to Doctors Without Borders.
  • There are auctions going on on Ravelry’s Completely Pointless and Arbitrary Group and spinoff CPaAG Swap group–KnittyK8 moderates the latter and says they’ve raised over $16,000 in the last week!
  • Knitting Fever is doing matching donations, up to $50,000, for every dollar raised for Doctors Without Borders through Wool and Company, with 15 downloadable patterns as thank-you gifts.
  • Have you seen any other noteworthy craft-for-good efforts around the blogosphere? Any other hidden treasures in the Help for Haiti patterns that deserve more attention? Thoughts on worthy and effective charities to support?

    *thanks to dclulu for pointing out that I had accidentally originally phrased this to imply that all those patterns were Ysolda’s. I have edited the post to fix this.

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