Handmade: Donate excess supplies to help others

Jocelynn Brown
The Detroit News

It’s been growing in my closet more than 25 years, and it’s now wall-to-wall and floor to ceiling! What is this thing that has consumed so much of my space, time, money and energy? Why, it’s the Craft Monster — the mother lode of creative possibilities!

Judging from the number of calls and emails I receive, there are craft monsters everywhere. They’re hiding in attics, basements, garages, old China cabinets, buffets, the trunk of cars, beneath beds and futons, dresser drawers and even in unused dishwashers.

Other longtime crafters often contact me, desperately inquiring about possible places to donate their stash of unwanted craft supplies — yarn, wool roving, weaving looms, thread, vintage lace, wood, macrame cord, beads, buttons, quilting fabric, sewing machines, sergers, African textiles, and more.

What on earth were we thinking? But every time we made a mad dash to our local craft store with coupon in hand, combed the jewelry counter at resale shops for unique beads, bought another ball of irresistible yarn we didn’t need, or purchased more than enough fabric for a particular project only because it was “pretty” and the price was right — well, we had good intentions. But, many of those ideas and plans fell by the wayside because, unfortunately, there are only so many hours in a day, and in the meantime, as we crafters say — “knit happens.”

If you have a craft monster “living” in your closet (or elsewhere), raise your hand. Oh, go ahead — admit it. OK, now read the list here, find a group or organization that could best use your unwanted supplies, then donate them so that someone in the world of crafts can put them to good use, maybe by helping those in need. Just think of it as passing along your good intentions for a good cause!

Where to donate items locally


Enchanted Makeovers (helps improve the lives of women and children living in shelters by transforming bedrooms)

Needed: yards of fabric

Ship items to: Enchanted Makeovers, 12663 Hipp, Taylor, MI 48180

Contact: Terry Grahl, founder, at (734) 776-0848.

Genesis III at Detroit Rescue Mission (a rehabilitation ministry where women are learning to sew)

Needed: fabric, new thread, fusible interfacing, and scissors

Contact: Kathleen Troost, sewing instructor, Wednesday mornings at (313) 883-5614, Ext. 5552


Milford Country Clickers (a close-knit group of knitters and crocheters who use their skills to help those in need)

Needed: Acrylic and pima cotton yarns preferred, along with knitting needles and crochet hooks

Contact: Linda Gepper, knitter, at (248) 787-6298 or (All welcome to join.)

Millie’s Hats for Hope Initiative (a charity knitting group that donates knitted hats to homeless individuals)

Needed: Any kind of yarn (if can’t be used, it’ll be passed on.)

Ship items to: Millie’s Hats for Hope Initiative, P.O. Box 547, Dearborn Heights, MI 48127.

Contact: Nancy Oglesby, member, at (248) 478-3251, or Millie’s Hats for Hope Initiative on Facebook

Sit ’n Knit (warms the homeless community one stitch at a time with handmade hats, mittens and scarves)

Accepts: yarn occasionally, but is currently in need of volunteers

Contact: Shalynne Barr, founder, at (248) 462-5244.

Knitting/Crochet Ministry of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church (a group that knits and crochets various items for charity groups, hospitals and schools in Wayne and Macomb counties)

Needed: full skeins (only) of any color yarn, except white

Ship (or deliver) items to: St. Joan of Arc Parish Center, Attn: Knitting/Crochet Ministry, 22412 Overlake, St. Clair Shores, MI 48080.

Contact: (586) 777-3670


Arts & Scraps (makes craft supplies more affordable for individuals working with children in the community, and anyone needing items to help express their creativity)

Accepts: spools (empty or with thread), buttons, baskets, tins, telephone wire, vinyl, leather pieces (but not clothing), children’s art supplies (crayons, construction paper, etc.) jewelry, beads (broken O.K.), frames in good condition, ribbon, trims, gift bags, baby food jars, grocery size brown paper bags, wine corks, oatmeal containers, candles, gallon milk caps, etc. Volunteers are also needed.

Located at: 16135 Harper in Detroit, where items can be dropped off.

Contact: (313) 640-4411, or visit

Knit Wits — University Presbyterian Church (a group that knits, crochets, sews, quilts and more to help those in need locally and around the world)

Needed: all kinds of yarn, fabric (especially fleece and cotton), notions and baby items.


Other places to consider

Knitting, crocheting, quilting and sewing guilds that make items for charity; senior centers, resale shops, recreational facilities, summer camps, schools, and also, prisons and shelters with recreational programs.

Detroit News Columnist Jocelynn Brown is a longtime Metro Detroit crafter. You can reach her at (313) 222-2150, or