Last year I knit my brother a pair of warm house socks for Christmas. I had some yarn leftover, so I decided to knit a hat. And since I didn't have anyone in particular who needed a hat, I decided to donate it somewhere. And then, because this is me we're talking about, it kind of snowballed.
Here's that first hat:
And here's a picture of my 2012 knitted donation:
Final count was 3 scarves, 2 cowls, 2 pair of fingerless mitts, and 33 hats. 40 items all together. Woot! Ten items went to Trinity Place, a ten bed shelter in New York City for homeless LGBTQ youth. The rest went to Ruth Ellis Center, an organization in Detroit that has both a drop-in center and residential programs for LGBTQ youth. Ruth Ellis estimates that there are 800 homeless teens in Detroit on any given day. The situation in NYC is even worse. According to this article, as of 2008 there were approximately 3,800 homeless youth in NYC, but the city had only 250 shelter beds reserved for teens. Some knitting doesn't mean much in the face of those kinds of numbers, but hopefully these things will mean something to the 40 people who get them.
I'm already plotting my donation for next year. I give cash when I can, which isn't as often as I'd like. But in the meantime I have a cabinet full of yarn and all the time in the world. For 2013 I hope to be able to donate 100 hats.