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.
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:
- Ravelry has set up a special “Help for Haiti” tag that marks patterns whose designers have pledged a certain percentage of sales towards earthquake relief. You can search for “Help for Haiti” AND “in my queue” or “in my favorites,” making it easy to go ahead and buy the patterns you’d had in your queue for ages. Ysolda writes that as a result of this initiative, she has just donated a whopping £3766.60 (currently about $6135) to Doctors Without Borders! Part of that total was mine–I’ve bought two of her patterns I had been wanting for a while:
Plus some non-Ysolda patterns*:
- Baby Cables and Big Ones Too (garter-trimmed pullover with asymmetrical vanishing cables)
- Bodhi Mittens, a mitten/fingerless mitt pattern with a very pretty flower/tree pattern going up the back of the hand, and options for adding beads
Aside from those patterns from my queue, I also found a bunch of other lovely patterns I’m considering:
- Katya Frankel’s Cabled Hat Collection
- Estelle, a cardigan with a leaf-patterned round lace yoke
- Fisherman Twist, an elegant pullover reminiscent of Ingenue, with what looks like a moebius ring in brioche stitch adorning the neckline
- Nidikumba, a beautifully textured lace stole
- Lórien, a gorgeous, delicate cables-and-lace beret
- The Calm Waters Cowl, with a neat undulating rib design
- Windschief, a simple but effective hat and cowl adorned with a diagonal rib stripe
- Quill, a ribbed lace cowl reminiscent of Pretty Thing
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.