Friday, August 15, 2008

The Red Scarf Project

What happens to a child in foster care when they are too old to stay in the foster care system?

Many of them go to college. Can you imagine going to college as an eighteen-year-old and being totally alone? No parents or family to come home to, no one to guide you or help you if you stumble?

This is where the Orphan Foundation of America comes in. Their website states:
OFA defines an orphan as any child who has lost the love of their parents through death, abandonment, abuse, or neglect.
In addition to scholarships, guidance, mentoring, and work training, the OFA sends out care packages to those teens who have "aged out" of the foster care system and are trying to make it in college. These packages are sent out three times a year. The Red Scarf Project is a project to make scarves (red ones) for the packages that are sent out for Valentine's Day.

If you go to the OFA's Red Scarf Project page, you can see lots of pictures of pround students showing off their scarves. I am working on one now. They don't have to be red, just unisex, because you don't know if a girl or a boy will get it.

Here is the info, straight from their site:

Scarf Size: Approximately 60" long and 5" to 8" wide. Scarves should be long enough to be wrapped around the neck, with tails long enough to be tied in the front.

Style: Think unisex collegiate. Ask yourself if your son, brother, and/or husband would enjoy receiving the scarf. Fringes are optional. Your scarf should drape and tie easily.

Yarn: Preferably DK, double fingering-weight, worsted weight, or light bully yarns. No laceweight, super-chunky, or mohair yarns as there are many people who find mohair too itchy. The yarn should be soft.

Color: Red! However, this could mean burgundy, cherry, russet, red stripes with other colors, or multicolor hues including red. Other unisex colors, including black, navy, teal, olive or gold are also welcome.

Finished and tagged: Yarn ends should be securely sewn in. For a personal touch, attach a tag saying "Handmade for You" with your first name, city, and group affiliation, if any. Donors have also included washing instructions, messages of encouragement, gift cards, burger bucks, books of stamps, etc.

Scarves will be accepted between Sept. 1, 2008 - Oct. 31, 2008. They need to be mailed to:
Orphan Foundation of America
The Red Scarf Project
21351 Gentry Drive
Sterling, VA  20166

Even if you don't knit or crochet, you can help. Spread the word! In fact, Scout of Scout's Swag is having a contest. If you promote the Red Scarf Project on your blog, Ravelry, Flickr, etc. before Monday, she will enter you in a drawing for some lovely yarn and a $25.00 gift certificate to her store!  Details here. And you don't have to knit/crochet/sew a stitch!  But you should, you really should.

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