If you’re ready to try knitting for charity or crochet to help others, find out where to donate baby hats to charity, how to make sure your hats for charity will be accepted and how to get started!
So many of my lovely readers email me and tell me that they love to use my baby hat knitting patterns to knit for charity both during the holidays and all year round. This makes me so so happy to hear. If that’s you, thank you for contributing your time, and energy and craft to making the world a better place. Using creativity to spread kindness is such a wonderful thing.
I thought today, that some of you might also wish you could start knitting for charity or doing crochet for charity. But maybe you don’t know where to start? Maybe you don’t know where to donate baby hats to charity?
I know, it’s so overwhelming! So I’ve done some research and I’m ready to get you all started crocheting or knitting baby hats for hospitals and other charities. And don’t worry, my list of groups that accept hats for charity includes the US, Canada, the UK and Australia!
What to know before you start making baby hats for charity…
When you’re crocheting or knitting for charity, it might be tempting to just knit or crochet whatever you want and send it off. But I discovered that many places that accept baby hat donations actually have fairly specific requirements that must be followed for your donated baby hats to be accepted.
As always, check with the specific charity or hospital that you choose to work with, but here are some common requirements and guidelines:
Common Handmade Baby Hat Donation Guidelines
General guidelines for charity knitting or crochet
- Donated handmade crochet or knit baby hats should be from smoke free homes.
- Pet free homes are sometimes required, if not and you do have a pet, be sure to wash your baby hat before donating
- If you pre-wash your baby hat, wash with unscented detergent and do not use fabric softener
Material and yarn guidelines when making baby hats for charity
- No wool yarns!
- Stick to super soft yarns made from acrylic, cotton and bamboo. Alpaca, which is hypoallergenic, is sometimes allowed.
- Yarn MUST be machine washable
- Avoid novelty yarns including eyelash yarn and yarns with sequins or glitter or anything that might be scratchy or shed
- Avoid vintage yarn which can become brittle with age
- Choose a worsted weight or lighter yarn (especially for preemies), bulky, heavy yarns can make hats that are too warm for tiny babies
- Some charities have specific yarn color requests and some do not, so make sure to check before you start, many times you do not have to limit yourself to typical baby pastels!
- Consider choosing a gender neutral color so anyone can use it
Some of my favorite yarns for baby hats are:
- Vanna’s Choice
- Paintbox Simply Aran
- Paintbox Baby DK
- Bernat Softee
- Caron Simply Soft
- Lion Brand Baby Soft
- Red Heart Soft
- Loops & Threads Impeccable
- CoBoo Cotton/Bamboo Blend
Construction guidelines for donating baby hats
- No pom poms, buttons, bows or other embellishments that could come off and become choking hazards
- Be sure to securely weave in all ends
- Avoid bulky seams on the inside that can irritate super sensitive baby skin
- Avoid lace and eyelet patterns for infants because their tiny fingers can get stuck in the holes
- Make sure that your gauge is correct and your baby hat is correctly sized for the needs of the charity you choose. This is especially important if you choose to knit or crochet preemie hats
Where can I find good baby hat knitting patterns for charity?
A great place to start is my Back to Basics series of patterns which all have a free version. These simple patterns can be customized in tons of different ways and are great for knitting for charity! If you want holiday hats for the Christmas season, browse here!
Where should I send my baby hats for charity?
Now that you know what kinds of baby hats to knit or crochet for charity, let’s talk about WHERE to donate baby hats. I know for me, this was the most daunting part of wanting to start knitting for charity.
For many people, the easiest place to donate baby hats is your local hospital. But be sure to call first and ask if they accept baby hat donations and what their needs are.
If you can’t find a hospital in your community that accepts baby hat donations, then I’ve got you covered! Here’s a list of charities that will love your handmade baby hats!
(Please note that while there are tons of other knit and crochet charities out there, this list is specific to those who accept hats for babies and small children. Also, while some of these charities are local, most accept donations by mail so you can help out from anywhere!)
MiKaylee’s Hope – preemie or newborn sized hats mailed to: PO Box 35 Mohrsville PA 19541
The moment you feel your little one is growing up, your level of excitement cannot be measured in words; but with growth, your baby is also growing out of his/her clothes. Yes, the time has arrived when you will have to make space in the closet for new toddler clothes. Keepsakes, though, help you in evoking the memories of your baby but keeping everything is an impossible act. If your baby’s clothes are donated to a charitable organization then this would definitely help a needy family. Donations do go a long way; few sell the donated items and use the money in fund services, while few might get them for their kids. Proper homework is required for preparing batches of donations; make sure you do not add damaged baby clothes because charities usually shy in accepting used items. You will have to decide and then organize clothes that are to be sent for donation. But most importantly, have you decided how and where to donate the baby clothes? If not, then this guide will help you in finding a way out of the hassle.
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Help from Friends:
After you make a decision to donate your baby’s clothes, the first thing that has to be done is check if there is any needy family whom you know personally – it can be someone in your social circle of friends or neighbors. Instead of contacting an unknown person, it is better if you initiate such humble cause from home. Parents who have more than one kid prefer hand-me-downs.
Help from Online Service
Locate a reliable organization which is responsible for community programs and service. Try contacting your friends and family if they know any. Ensure that you track down a registered organization so that you can acquire satisfaction that your donation is actually being put to good use. Take help from online search engines, and find if there is any community outreach program running in your area. Many organizations are desperately in search of goodwill especially baby clothing and equipment, which is why you will have to search very carefully.
Sort out the Clothes
After tracking down a reputable nonprofit organization, start sorting out clothes that you intend to donate. Take all the clothes out of the closet and make separate pile of shirts, pants and shorts so that you can easily decide the giveaway items.
Inspect the Damaged Clothes
Analyze each baby wear properly – whether it is damaged or dirty – because generally, no one would like to accept used and torn clothes for their children.
Wash the Clothes:
Run dirty clothes through your washing machine and dry them properly, because charity organizations only agree to take clean clothes. After properly folding the clothes, make a pile and count them.
Packaging of the Clothes:
Take a sturdy garbage bag and place the clothes in it. Make sure you have separate bags for male and female clothes. Label each bag with the type of clothes in it along with the age group as well.
Contact the Agency:
Contact the agency you are intending to give your donation to and request them to pick the donating items from you. If the organization is located near your residence, then get an appointment and pay a visit to their office.
Do not Forget to Take the receipt
Complete the required paper work and ask them to give you a receipt so that you have a record of the donation that has been made.
It can be surprising how many things are needed, or just downright practical, when you have a little one in your life. It’s not easy to provide for the range of items a baby needs, particularly all at once. Donate gently used baby items to help support families with tight budgets, families or individuals who have recently lost a home, single parents or grandparents raising a little one, younger parents, or families in transition. Perhaps you have piles of new or barely used items that were given as gifts that your child grew out of too soon, or that simply didn’t fit your lifestyle. Charities are especially keen to receive new or barely used baby items.
What kinds of baby items can I donate?
Donate all kinds of baby items to charity! Every little bit can go a long way to helping a new, growing family. Donate a crib or a crib mattress (note that some charities may not accept crib or mattress donations for reasons of hygiene). Donate crib sheets and baby bedding. Donate a baby changing table. Donate a chest of drawers and other baby furniture. Donate a rocking chair. Donate a rocking horse or other baby toys. Donate a travel crib or play pen. Donate new or barely used burp cloths. Donate baby appliances like bottle warmers or other feeding supplies. Donate blankets and receiving blankets.
Donate towels and washcloths. Donate baby bathtubs. Donate strollers. Donate high chairs and booster chairs. Donate bibs. Donate baby carriers and bouncy seats. Donate a bassinet. Donate baby proofing items and baby monitors. Donate diaper bags and backpacks. Donate baby clothes. When a baby comes into this world, she unfortunately doesn’t come with a suitcase full of everything she’ll need. Donate baby items to help new parents provide a warm, properly equipped home for the newest addition to the family. Donate training potties. Donate play mats. Donate baby books, videos or DVDs. Check with the charity about donating items like car seats, diapers, wipes, baby bottles, formula or other baby food, pacifiers, breast pumps, or baby care items like shampoo or soap. Some charities may not accept these items for reasons of hygiene or safety.
Make every effort to donate baby items in new or gently used condition so that they can be fully enjoyed by a new family. Please pay special attention that you do not donate broken, stained, or heavily worn items. Do not donate items that have been recalled by the manufacturer.
Anyone with a little one knows how fast they grow.
One day you’re planning where to put the crib, and the next, you’re watching a one-year-old smash up a birthday cake and thinking about the inevitable sugar rush you’re going to need to handle later.
They grow so quickly in such a short time that it seems all those adorable baby clothes get worn once or twice, and then they are too small—especially those adorable ones for special occasions.
It’s such a shame to throw them out, so it’s no wonder many with little ones will pass on these clothes to someone they know, either a relative or a friend, with their own little one so they can revel in the cuteness as well.
However, when you don’t have someone to pass baby clothes onto, the question is where to donate baby clothes.
Surprisingly, many places will take baby clothing. You can donate those clothes so that someone else will get to enjoy their own baby wearing them, and these places often benefit those with less financial security.
Where to Donate Baby Clothes
There are some organizations that everyone recognizes the name of, and Goodwill is one of them.
They’ve been offering aid to people for a long time and continue to do so today, despite the struggles brought on by the pandemic. Their locations are plentiful, and most people will find one fairly close to them, making it easier to find locations to drop off the clothing you want to donate.
You can find all their information here, including drop-off locations.
The Salvation Army is just as widely spread as Goodwill. We see their bell ringers all over during the holidays, and they’ve been active participants in charitable work since 1865. Their work helps about 23 million people annually, and that’s only in the US.
Their website tells you everything you need to know to donate your baby’s old clothes.
Vietnam Veterans of America
Far less known than the other organizations previously listed is the VVA. This one works a little differently.
Instead of your donated baby clothing going directly to babies in need, the VVA is all about aiding Vietnam Veterans. How they do this is by selling donated items and using the funds to help these Veterans.
You can schedule a pickup for the items you want to donate by going to their website. This makes it even more convenient to give your used baby clothes, but because they’re not as well-known and offer pickup services, they aren’t as widespread as the previous two organizations.
Sadly, some of the people requiring the services of homeless shelters are families with small children. These shelters don’t just provide a roof over the heads of those they shelter, but also some basic needs, like clothing for babies. This is especially important in colder areas and seasons.
Community Outreach Centers
More tragic are those who need special services, like those trying to leave abusive situations or have certain circumstances that require more attention than what a homeless shelter provides.
These places will sometimes take in donated baby items, though not always. Usually, checking the website for these community outreach centers will give you the answers you need.
Places that are often overlooked are churches.
While many don’t take donations of this nature, some do to distribute to families they know are in need, and some work with local charity organizations. This will usually require more than a simple look online. You’ll probably need to call an officiate or employee of the church to determine if they take baby clothing donations.
You may not consider thrift stores a very charitable place to donate your used baby clothing, but in truth, many families with little income frequent these stores to find cheaper items within their budget.
If you can’t find anywhere to donate to, most will take baby clothing. Depending on the store, this may require a simple look online or a call to the store to see if they accept donations.
What’s An Acceptable Donation?
Donation rules are fairly standard no matter where you’re donating. The clothing should be gently used, with no staining, rips, holes, or tears.
Think of it as if you were in a store and found a onesie with a big stain on the front. You probably wouldn’t buy that, and people receiving and buying clothes from the places listed feel the same.
You also want always to find out if they are currently open to donations.
Space is an issue with many drop-off locations, and they may be unable to take in clothing. Sometimes you can find this out online, and other times you will need to call ahead. It’s important that you don’t just drop things off, or your donated baby clothes may end up in the trash because the organization doesn’t have room.
Babies grow so quickly, and you’ll find yourself stuck with a mountain of clothing soon enough. Finding a less wasteful way to get rid of those outgrown baby clothes while also helping people in need is the perfect solution to decluttering your home and contributing to humanitarian aids.
To collect and distribute clothing and blankets to babies in need
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Our founders, two nurses working in the field of public health, noticed first-hand how more and more families are struggling to acquire the basic necessities of life in today’s economy. A new baby puts an added strain on already limited resources and many babies lack appropriate items of clothing and blankets to stay warm and thrive during their crucial first year of life. Learn More.
What Can I Do
We are participating in the Amazon Smile program. This means that you can support Gently Hugged just by shopping at Amazon for things that you normally buy. Simply click the button above to go to Amazon.com and start shopping.
Thanks for your support!
We collect gently used or new infant clothing in sizes preemie to 12 months to distribute to needy babies in the San Diego area. Learn More.
We have several donation bins located thoughout the city. Find a donation bin near you,
Generous donations of time are also appreciated. We have volunteer opportunities available. Learn More.
2021 First Quarter Newsletter
Things seem to be looking up! Regarding pandemic restrictions, we are grateful to be moving in a positive direction and blessed to have many of our cherished volunteers fully vaccinated. Gently Hugged looks forward to [continue reading] .
2020 Fourth Quarter Newsletter
Before beginning the New Year, we passed through a season that is for all time centered on being grateful and completing acts of charity for others. During that time, Gently Hugged was showered with helpful and inspiring acts of [continue reading] .
2020 Third Quarter Newsletter
With your partnership, Gently Hugged has clothed and provided blankets and other essential items for the first year to 481 newborns so far in 2020, while coping with the challenges and restrictions of the ongoing pandemic. Thank you for your dedication and willingness to [continue reading] .
2020 Second Quarter Newsletter
As the challenging times continue, Gently Hugged is grateful to be back in a limited capacity to help the growing number of babies in need. The community has responded so that clothing donations and handmade items are flowing in. Our dedicated [continue reading] .
2019 4th Quarter Newsletter
We continue to appreciate our community of faithful supporters. Each of you is vital in helping Gently Hugged make a significant impact in the lives of local newborns at risk. Thank you.
Year-to-Date Results for 2019
- Pounds of donated usable clothing: 8351
- Number of blankets (not handmade): 1681
- Number of handmade items contributed: 7241
- Number of babies provided with sufficient clothing for their first year: 810
Blessings to you and your families this holiday season. Once again we thank you for your continued support of our mission to help clothe needy babies in San Diego County. Because of you, 775 vulnerable newborns were provided essentials for the first year, a 14% increase from last year in the number of babies clothed.
2019 3rd Quarter Newsletter
Year-to-Date Results for 2019
- Pounds of donated usable clothing: 6,418
- Number of blankets (not handmade): 1,354
- Number of handmade items contributed: 5,347
- Number of babies clothed for their first year: 593
2019 2nd Quarter Newsletter
Year-to-Date Results for 2019
- Pounds of donated usable clothing: 4,389
- Number of blankets (not handmade): 913
- Number of handmade items contributed: 3853
- Number of babies clothed for their first year: 393
4th Quarter Newsletter
1/31/2019 We continue to appreciate our community of faithful supporters. Each of you is vital in helping Gently Hugged make a significant impact in the lives of local newborns at risk. Thank you.
Year-to-Date Results for 2018
- Pounds of donated usable clothing: 8,095
- Number of blankets (not handmade): 2,508
- Number of handmade items contributed: 6,441
- Number of babies provided with sufficient clothing for their first year: 701
12/5/2018 Because of your compassionate help, Gently Hugged will finish the year having provided 678 babies in need with clean clothing, warm blankets, a fresh new book, and other essentials keep them cozy and secure for their entire first year. During 2018, the numbers of Gently Hugged collection bin locations, distribution sites, and volunteers have increased to meet a growing need.
Your caring contribution will make a real and lasting impact on the lives of families who are unable to provide even the basic necessities for their newborn child.
8/8/2018 A typical dip in clothing donations during the summer months did not occur this year! Although temps have been sweltering, our Gently Hugged volunteers are keeping up the pace. Faithful volunteers collect items from bins, sort, launder, fold, and pack the bags. Crafters continue to create handmade essentials to add an extra dose of love, before other helpers deliver the eye-catching bags to social workers and nurses for distribution. As a result, during the months of June and July, 133 newborns that would otherwise go without, were provided clothing and other basic items to sustain them for their first year.
5/31/2018 On Sunday, May 20, Gently Hugged collaborated with Tomorrow’s Heroes Today for a Super Hero Kid Fun Run to benefit Gently Hugged. The event was sold out with 100 little runners ages 2-7 wearing red superhero capes that were each handmade by one of our crafters. Spiderman made a live appearance to run and pose with the kids, Hullabaloo provided live music and dancing, and several local businesses sponsored booths with enlightening activities for the attendees. A highlight was our amazing and multi-talented emcee Philip Victor Ongert who kept the fun going all morning.
QUALITY = DIGNITY
Our mission comes to life by engaging and connecting the community! You can help by donating a wide range of new and gently-used goods that are appropriate for use by children ages newborn to 12.
We believe that QUALITY = DIGNITY. Before making a donation, please ensure that your gently-used items are high-quality: not ripped, stained, or quality compromised in any way. Review the standards below for more details on what we distribute to deserving children!
Most Needed Items:
- New and gently used t-shirts (sizes 2T – adult medium)
- New and gently used long pants (sizes 2T – adult medium or 9)
- New underwear (sizes 2T – adult medium)
- Books 0-12
What We Accept:
- Clothing and coats (infant to youth sizes 18/20 and adult sizes small & medium)
- New socks, underwear, and pajamas (we accept pajamas in new or gently-used condition)
- Shoes, boots, sneakers, and sandals (infant/child sizes 0–13 and adult sizes 1–10)
- Books (ages 0-12)
- New arts, crafts, and school supplies
- New hygiene items
- Unopened diapers, pull-ups, and diaper wipes
Click here for a more detailed list of our Donation Guidelines, including COVID-19 protocols.
In the interest of the health/safety of the families we serve and in consideration of the limited space they may have access to, we cannot accept the following:
- We are not able to accept toys or baby gear of any kind
- Furniture and household goods/items
- Cribs of any kind (due to recalls)
- Over-sized plastic play structures and backyard toys
- Stuffed animals
- Used rackets, mitts, hockey sticks, bats, helmets, skates, shin guards/pads
- Bicycles or ride-on toys
- DVDs/CDs/VHS tapes/computer games
- Violent toys/games
- Religious or holiday related books or toys
- Books and clothing with family related messaging (“I Love Mommy,” “Daddy and I”)
- Bathing suits or costumes
- Used underwear or socks
- Used hygiene products, baby food, breast pumps, and supplies, or bottles
- Used arts and crafts/school supplies
Have items that we can’t accept? Click here to find a place to donate them.
Since I wrote my post about what to do with old baby clothes, I’ve seen lots of queries in Cardiff Facebook groups asking where to donate baby clothes, here’s all the places I know of…
1 – UHW (University Hospital Wales, Heath) – the maternity, neo-natal and children’s wards (in the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital) are always grateful for baby clothes. They get used for those poor babies that would otherwise be going home in just a nappy, those in for prolonged stays without parents being around or in the majority of cases (especially in neo-natal) where babies arrive early and so don’t have any clothes ready!
I donated a load of newborn vests, sleepsuits etc here. Neonatal particularly appreciate sleepsuits with poppers etc as they’re handy for those babies on drips etc. To minimise infection, they’ll wash everything using the right temperature/detergent and prefer to use donated clothes for this reason.
2 – NCT baby bundle scheme – NCT put bundles of clothes, nappies, toiletries etc together for local mums in need. I actually donated my maternity clothes to these guys! Email them to arrange drop-off/pick-up at [email protected]
3 – Cwtch baby bank (taffs well/pentyrch – but they also collect) I’d not heard of these til recently but similarly to the one above, they help out local mums in need but this is their sole purpose (whereas NCT do lots of other things too). As well as baby clothes they take baby goods e.g. I donated our baby bath and bottles to them.
4 – Oasis refugee centre (splott road) – they support refugees and asylum seekers in the area. The family team here always need baby clothes but also put shout-outs for specific items so I’ve recently donated a breast pump and baby blankets here!
5 – Anaya aid Wales (Bessemer road, grangetown) – these guys take lorries full of stuff over to Syria and in particular help orphans and widows over there. They’re always after baby clothes (and adults), warm clothes and nappies and wet wipes.
6 – Life for African Mothers (penarth road) – I’ve only learnt about this one recently too (these Facebook mum groups are so handy!) and they support maternity care in many African countries. I’m about to give them all the baby summer clothes we have, as nobody in the UK will be needing them for a while so at least they can be put to good use sooner rather than later!
7 – mother and baby hostel, Roath park – Ty Enfys is a home for homeless women that are pregnant or with a baby. Last time around I donated maternity, women’s and baby clothes here.
8 – Cardiff food bank – another way to help local families is donating baby clothes (and older children clothes… and of course food!) to the food bank based in City temple, cowbridge road east, Cardiff (ask for Lorraine!)
9 – charity shops – if none of these ideas above appeal to you, there are hundreds of charity shops in Cardiff that would be grateful of your donations!
It can be a sad time getting rid of your baby clothes, but donating them to these causes makes me feel much better as I know that we’re helping keep other babies clothed 🙂
If you know of anywhere else to donate to, please leave a comment below so other Cardiff mums see it, thanks!
If you found this post useful, you might also like 9 baby classes or groups you should do in Cardiff
It’s a good idea to donate used baby clothes to people in need. This provides great help to struggling communities, especially parents who can’t afford new clothing. We have rounded up some of the charities that accept donations of used baby clothing.
Babies outgrow their clothes very fast, with most of them going up a clothing size every ten weeks. This not only creates financial pressures on parents who need to continually buy new baby clothes, but it also can result in a huge amount of nearly-new clothes getting landfilled every year. In fact, you can save the clothes that are in great condition and donate them to people in need.
But where to donate baby clothes? No worries, we’ve compiled a list of charities in the US where you can donate your used baby clothes
National Charity Organizations
Here are 5 national charities that you should donate your baby clothes to:
- Accept a wide range of items as donations.
- Create jobs, hosting camps, and other activities to help struggling communities in the US
- Drop-off centers are virtually located in every city around the country.
The Salvation Army
- Accept a wide range of items as donations
- Donations will be distributed in over 130 countries around the globe.
- Their clothing banks are spread around the country, so there’s a chance a Salvation Army drop-off center is near you.
- Focus on the needs of children across the country
- Accept donations of diapers, wipes, formula, and hygiene items from the community to address the most critical needs of families impacted by COVID-19.
- Have a wide network of charity organizations that cover over 40 cities across the US.
American Red Cross
- Famous and well-respected charity.
- Provide emergency assistance and disaster relief for millions of people around the world.
- Accept both cash and gently used clothing pieces as donations.
- All collected items are sold to thrift stores and the proceeds are used to fund their emergency response programs.
- Offer pick-up donations right from your door.
Vietnam Veterans of America (VAA)
- Donated items are auctioned
- The proceeds are used to fund the organization’s support programs for war veterans
- Pick up your donations right off your door within 24 hours.
Apart from national organizations, several local charities accept baby clothes as donations as well. You can use the search/filter tool from https://greatnonprofits.org/near-me/ to find suitable local organizations to donate your little one’s used clothes.
Money-Saving Tips For Baby Clothing
Stocking up on too many baby clothes is one of the biggest money mistakes new moms make. It’s undoubtedly so fun to buy for kids, and many parents get caught up in the adorableness of baby items and end up purchasing too many things. In fact, there are many tips for spending wisely on baby clothes.
Our advice is “do not fall for big brands”. According to a survey conducted by Bloomberg , people tend to give up on clothes for special occasions, instead, going for jeans and T-shirts more often. This means they are giving up on famous brands and switching to cheap, basic clothing.
In fact, brands don’t really matter anymore because there is a lot of cheap, affordable baby clothing that offers the same quality. At around $20, you will get an adorable baby boy shirt made from organic cotton from an online store that could end up being donated to a charity or someone in need when your baby outgrows it. This saves a lot of money on an expensive one that he’s only going to be able to wear a handful of times.