Every day disasters happen—destroying property and lives, displacing people from their homes and devastating families. Last year alone the American Red Cross responded to more than 176 large-scale disasters in the U.S. as well as tens of thousands of home fires in communities across the country.
Red Heart yarns—an American Red Cross Disaster Responder Program member and partner—donated $250,000 to the Red Cross societies of the United States, Mexico and Canada earlier this year to provide help and hope to those who have experienced just such a disaster. Complementing their financial contribution, Red Heart has launched the #StitchAHug campaign.
Red Heart invites yarn crafters to create a Red Heart Cares blanket—to “#StitchAHug”—for someone in need. Red Heart spokesperson, knitter, author and positive living expert Barbara Hannah Grufferman knows from personal experience the impact that a handmade gift can have on those facing unexpected adversity.
“I got involved with Red Heart’s campaign after I posted a story about a blanket that I knitted for my brother-in-law who was undergoing cancer treatment,” said Grufferman. “The treatment was so rough on his body and spirit that he needed more comfort than words alone could provide so I stitched him a blanket. It made him feel loved and cared for in a way that was so needed at that time.”
After reading her story online, Red Heart asked her to get involved. Now Grufferman, along with Red Heart, is encouraging others to #StitchAHug by making and giving a Red Heart Cares blanket to someone they know who has been affected by a tragedy—be that a natural disaster, a home fire or a serious illness or injury. Alternately, knitters and crocheters can contact their local Red Cross chapter for details on how to donate their handmade blankets to the organization for distribution to disaster victims.
To join the campaign, simply visit redheart.com/redcross download the free Red Heart Cares blanket pattern and get stitching. While on the website, yarn crafters can also access free tutorials to help with the project and, by making a $10 financial donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief through the Red Heart page, they’ll receive two exclusive patterns.