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"Put a Bonnet On It "
Diaper and Winter Gear Drives

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       Vulnerable children in Maine continue to lag behind due to competing state,  local, and societal crisis. The Opioid addiction and Covid pandemic combined understandably overwhelm Maine’s infrastructure and social networks. According to a recent Portland Press Herald report (August 15, 2021), the number of children needing state intervention increased 44% from January 2018 to October 2020. The number of kinship families in Maine is unknown and these loving families provide for children without the assistance of tax dollars. See Vivian Leigh‘s report February 2020:

https://www.newscentermaine.com/article/news/health/fifteen-thousand-kinship-families-caring-for-children-with-little-or-no-financial-help/97-93c7c9e6-093e-4515-aca1-a376deebb16d

       How can our modest Guild help? Resource and adoptive families are most in need of winter gear and toddler sized diapers. Adoptive and Foster Families of Maine (AFFM) is a Saco-based nonprofit that is contracted by the state to provide support groups, training, and resources throughout the state. See their website for more info: https://affm.net

 

       As of September 2021 through March 2022, the LKGM has partnered with AFFM to knit, collect, and drop off any gently used winter clothing or hand knit winter accessories or diapers. The LKGM will provide yarn, when available, to participating members. Yarn pick-up will be during monthly guild meetings. All items may be dropped off at the Windham Raymond Adult Education (WRAE) Center during monthly guild meetings. We are working on a more permanent drop off box at WRAE for your convenience. Members are encouraged to use free patterns posted on our Ravelry forum board. Rav AFFM board

 

       Please avoid fibers that are not easily washable. Children’s items are preferred, especially toddler sizes.  We appreciate any and all donations for this very important project. 

       Here's one more link for more information: 

https://www.pressherald.com/2021/08/15/another-child-welfare-crisis-has-gripped-maine-is-this-a-problem-that-can-be-solved/

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Warm Up America

From January 2020 through September 2021, the Lighthouse Knitting Guild was involved in charity knitting for an organization called Warm Up America. It is a non-profit organization that helps distribute knitted items (blankets, hats, mittens) to homeless people across the country. The Guild project collected knitted 7” x 9” rectangles that will later be assembled into afghans.

Although the Guild has ended this specific knitting for others project, you can still continue to knit rectangles and ship them directly to Warm Up America. Here is a link to the Warm Up America website with 8 easy design suggestions: 

 

https://warmupamerica.org/make/patterns-yarns/

 

Every square counts! They come in from all over the country and get made into blankets of various sizes by a team of volunteers. Living in Maine, we understand cold so let’s help warm up those in need!

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Start 2 Knit

LKGM expanded its outreach program of Knitting for Others to include the “teaching others” collaborative of Start2Knit (S2K) for youths transitioning from Maine’s foster care.

 

Working closely with the Maine Office of Child and Family Services and the University Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service, Start2Knit tapped into its wealth of talented membership to design and instruct a curriculum for the novice knitter.

 

The project goals are for students to acquire basic knitting skills and engage with a community resource to encourage future mentorship along with the skills needed to create peer social networks.

Guild member S2K leaders: Yvonne Michaud and Rachael Emmons