Another Distraction

A somewhat eclectic blog by a woman who's easily distracted...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Changing Charitable Horses

Okay--I know I was going to write more about the Caps to the Capital project this weekend, but aside from this weekend flying by, I have to say I was a bit conflicted about this particular charity project, and I just wasn't sure what to write.

I've come to the conclusion that, noble as their cause may be (and I do believe it is), Caps to the Capital just isn't my kind of charity knit, and at the risk of alienating folks (oops--too late), I'll explain why.

The research that Save the Children (the folks who bring you Caps to the Capital) has done says that "Four million newborns die each year within the first month of life — half within the first 24 hours of life," and that "simple, low-cost practices that could save newborn lives — like warming their heads with a knit or crochet cap." This is the premise for the program. Of course, other low-cost practices like training for skilled birth attendants and access to antibiotics are also important, and something that Save the Children is lobbying the White House to provide. In fact, the caps will be sent to the President in January, along with the letters that Save the Children urges those knitting caps to provide. The hope is that President Bush will get the message--just as budget time rolls around--and increase funding for this type of relief all over the world.

Here's my dilemma: If we know that keeping a baby's head warm with a cap will improve his or her chances for survival, and we know that in many parts of the world it gets pretty darned cold in October, November, and December, then why in the world are we holding on to the caps until January??? I understand the political statement, but is it worth even just one tiny life to make that statement? I won't even get started on whether or not I believe this administration will listen, or what I think the most important thing for this administration to hear right now is. The bottom line for me is, if we can help a baby now, why don't we.

Conclusion? Since I used their pattern for the cap I made, I'll send it to them. I may even make more for them at the end of December. But in the mean time, a little Web surfing has led me to a charity that, for me, is a better fit: Newborns in Need. They provide essential items, such as clothing, to premature and full-term babies in need all over the United States--year 'round. So, the next charity project will be for them.

And I'll also be participating in the Red Scarf Project (it's getting late, so more about that in another post). And I'd like to find a good project to support our troops (thought I saw something about socks and hoods, but I'll have to do a bit more surfing on that) , and one for animals in need. Let me know if you've heard of anything.

Of course, with Christmas rapidly approaching (I'm a slow knitter), I also have stuff on the needles and in the queue for friends and family (...and me...).

Stuff like Mom's scarf (almost done!) :



The DBF's socks (not much progress since you last saw them, and not technically for Christmas):



And waiting in the wings, I have a scarf (for the DBF), Christmas stockings, beaded purses, a sweater that I'd like to wear during the holidays, a sweater for Mom (Christmas 2007--there's no way I can get it done this year!)... the list goes on.

But first, I have to fix this:



I'm not pointing at anything in the picture--I'm just keeping the fabric down so you can see the way I cleverly began knitting in the round, even though this particular sweater is supposed to be knit (and was, until not so long ago) back and forth on circular needles. And naturally, I didn't notice this until I had almost finished the row (round?). Sigh.

On that note, I think I'll head to bed.

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