Good afternoon, everyone! Well, for me it's good morning, and for everyone else it's good afternoon. I was just watching the dogs play outside in the first big snowfall of the year, and thinking about next year as most people do in the week before Christmas and New Year's.
So last we spoke, Knot Just Knits was collecting items for the community of Newtown, Connecticut after the Sandy Hook school shooting. Here is the article I wrote in case you didn't read it:
Well, the article got over 5,000 hits on its own before it was posted again last night by Vogue Knitting magazine...I may not have even noticed, were it not for the fact that my inbox started blowing up all over again. I scrolled down and saw 71 new "likes" on it and another 26 shares on facebook. BAM.
The flipside is that Newtown is so overwhelmed with donations, that they are not accepting new ones at the moment. This is okay with me...here's why. My wheels started spinning.
If the Red Cross is on the ready at all times, then why can't smaller groups be? We actually shouldn't have a call to action, per se...there should be a group to just BE there at times like this. There are, obviously, but I want a piece of that sucker. Here I have this great platform in the media, catering to the most charitable of all crafters (in my humble opinion), and a day job where I literally have six months off every year. Yes my schedule has a bit to be desired, but I should be doing something positive with my spare time.
In comes my idea for a non-profit organization...Monsters Anonymous. I'll design a few pocket- or backpack-sized monster patterns, and both sell the patterns to defray the cost of distributing them and accept donations of already-made pocket monsters. They would go to kids who recently lost a parent, sibling, or classmate. Either I will see stories in the news of people to whom I can send some love, or people will be able to request a monster through a website. Something like, "My next-door neighbor died, and the surviving spouse has three kids aged 8, 7, and 5. Can you send a few monsters their way?" Sure I can! I know I can't offer counseling services or anything that requires a license, but I sure can bring a little community of knitters together to make monsters for kids who are afraid of death or violence.
I can start early next year...I'm still waiting on a real estate deal to close so it will be a couple of months, but I think I can totally do this. I figure I'll need a few things:
3. Media help
4. A website
5. An outlet network to help distribute in cities other than Chicago (that can come later)
6. Business or organization registration of some sort
I know I will need MUCH more than that, but most importantly, I need feedback! If Newtown can't take the donations we're collecting, there are still plenty of people out there who can and Newtown may need something like this in a few weeks or months as well...their hurt will not stop just because the story is not at the forefront of the news.
Please share your thoughts, shoot this blog post to others and ask their thoughts as well (or...you know...just verbally ask if you want to interact with humans in 3-D). Thanks! Here is the first donation Knot Just Knits received, on Christmas Eve...from a lovely woman in El Paso:
This is exactly...EXACTLY...what I had in mind.