It came to my attention recently that St. Mungo's, a British organization dedicated to helping the homeless, has proclaimed October 26th Woolly Hat Day. Volunteer knitters are asked to make 5,678 orange watch caps to be sold for fund-raising, and, according to its website "to be used to create a stunt."
The number of hats--5,678--represents the number of homeless people forced to sleep on London streets last year.
And, sooner than we think, Buy Nothing Day, a.k.a. Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), will be upon us. Faithful readers of this blog know that over the past few years I have publicly deplored the wretched excess of Black Friday, the day on which the holiday shopping season officially begins. It's not just that I'm philosophically opposed to conspicuous consumption and mindless spending on unnecessary stuff. It's also that in a world where so many lack food, shelter, basic services, and gainful employment, our society's materialism--and the consumerist frenzy it fuels in November and December--is profoundly disturbing. Not to mention wrong.
Thus I've always encouraged my readers to re-conceptualize Black Friday as Knit Something Day.
Knit Something Day (23 November this year) is a day when knitters anywhere can put positive energy into the world by boycotting stores and simply knitting. Knit Something Day is a day when knitters can knit something for charity that can be donated to an organization serving the needy. Knit Something Day--a.k.a. Buy Nothing Day-- is also when the Annual Coat Exchange happens in Rhode Island.
The Annual Winter Coat Exchange is an opportunity for people who have extra winter coats to bring them to specific venues--including the lawn of the State House in Providence--and give them to folks who need warm outerwear. The Annual Coat Exchange is an opportunity for anyone who needs a warm coat to find one. No money is involved, only good will.
Well, here's the calendar so far:
- 26 October: Woolly Hat Day
- 23 November: Buy Nothing Day, Knit Something Day, Annual Coat Exchange (RI)
And, on a lighter note, October 12th, I've just learned, is I Love Yarn Day! It's a celebration that has both a fun and a charitable purpose, as you'll see if you read the link.
I'm compiling a list of drop-off sites for knitted donations, and welcome input from my readers if you'd like me to publicize a collection place you know of. Please be in touch!
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