From Stitches to Meals: How the 2023 Knit for Food Knit-A-Thon Changed Lives
The third annual Knit for Food Knit-a-thon... we raised $340,000!
It was a roaring success, raising more dough than a freshly baked loaf of bread! I don't know about you, but I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy inside - and it's not just because of this cozy knit sweater I’ve got on.
So, grab your needles and get ready to celebrate with this recap, because 2023’s Knit-a-thon on March 26th was a hit! And before we get started, mark your calendars for Saturday, March 23rd, 2024. The date has been set for the next Knit-a-thon event.
How much did we raise in 2023?
We set a goal of $272,000 to support our cause, and thanks to the generosity of our community, we were able to raise our funds and exceed that figure by a substantial margin. We are thrilled to announce that we have raised a total of $340,000 - an impressive 125% of our target.
In 2022, we raised over $271,000 and in 2021 we raised over $265,000. I know I speak for everyone when I say I can't wait to see how much we can raise together in 2024. Make sure to mark your calendars for March 23rd, 2024!
How many people were knitting?
More than 640 knitters were registered, but we know that the actual number of participants was much higher. There were multiple group meet-ups held throughout the country at LYS’s, at churches, in community centers, and in my living room.
Check out these phenomenal stats:
- 460 knitters raised over $100,
- 184 knitters raised over $500,
- 87 knitters raised over $1000,
- And 21 knitters raised over $2,000!!!
Let's talk about donations!
There were 7,222 unique donations made to the 2023 Knit for Food Knit-a-thon. What an incredible number!
- 412 of these donations were for $5,
- 4,074 of these donations were for $25 and under,
- And 5,861 of these donations were for $50 and under!
The power of a fundraising event lies in the way individuals come together and bring in their wider community. This is particularly true of Knit for Food as knitters are known for their generous spirit. I know I speak for everyone when I shout a big THANK YOU to the communities that pitched in and helped us raise funds.
Where does the money go?
The money we raised goes to four different organizations that work tirelessly to address hunger and food insecurity in the USA. They understand that many go to bed hungry and have made it their mission to provide nutritious meals throughout the year.
- Feeding America is a non-profit organization that has over 200 food banks and 60,000 pantries and meal programs. It helps to provide meals to millions of families and individuals who struggle with hunger in the United States. The organization also advocates for policies that can help to alleviate hunger and poverty. Through its network, Feeding America has provided over 4 billion meals yearly to people facing hunger.
- World Central Kitchen is a non-profit organization that works tirelessly to provide healthy meals to communities impacted by natural disasters all around the world. Founded by Chef José Andrés, this organization has helped to feed thousands of people in times of need, using food as a means of providing comfort and sustenance. Through a network of local chefs and volunteers, they are able to prepare and distribute hot meals quickly and efficiently. Present in over 30 countries, World Central Kitchen operates on the principle that a hot meal can make a huge difference in times of distress.
- No Kid Hungry is a nonprofit organization in the United States that aims to end childhood hunger. They work towards this goal by providing meals for children in need, educating families on how to cook healthy meals on a budget, and advocating for policy changes to address the root causes of hunger. They have over 30 years of experience addressing childhood hunger and have served millions of meals to children. Their programs help connect families with free meals, nutrition education, and equipment to prepare healthy meals at home.
- Meals on Wheels is a non-profit organization that delivers freshly-prepared, nutritious meals to elderly and disabled individuals who may have limited access to healthy food options. The program serves as a lifeline for many seniors who live alone, have mobility issues, or are unable to prepare food on their own. The team of volunteer drivers delivers meals to clients' homes, providing not only sustenance but also much-needed social interactions. The program has been instrumental in improving the quality of life of many elderly and disabled individuals, helping them maintain their independence and live in their homes for longer. Meals on Wheels is a vital service for many communities, ensuring that the elderly and disabled are not left hungry or isolated.
How many meals did we provide?
It's a heartwarming and inspiring thought: $1 in donations can provide up to 10 meals for people in need. And the generosity of those who donated to our fundraising efforts was remarkable, totaling $340,000.
That means we will be able to provide a staggering 3,400,000 meals to those who need them most.
We are immensely grateful to everyone who contributed to this important cause, and we look forward to continuing to serve our communities with compassion and generosity.
Highlights from the knit-a-thon!
Highlight #1 — Education
All four organizations sent reps to educate and inform our attendees via Zoom. From sharing staggering statistics about the number of people who are affected by food insecurity, to highlighting the work they do to address it, these experts left no stone unturned in imparting knowledge and encouraging action. They helped us all understand the gravity of the situation and the urgent need for us to work together to create a sustainable solution.
Highlight #2 — Wellness
We took care of our bodies under careful (and fun) instruction. Soooooo important when doing a 12-hour knitting marathon.
We were lucky enough to have Carson Demers share his knitting ergonomics techniques with us — essential for keeping our bodies comfortable, and productive, and preventing any injury. He provided everyone with lessons that will be beneficial for the rest of our knitting careers.
We also practiced knitting yoga with Mary Ann Gebhardt and Stretches for Stichers with Mara Smith! We did exercises like wrist rotations and shoulder shrugs, stretched our limbs and muscles, improved our posture, and relaxed our bodies.
Highlight #3 — Music
GG and The Grocery Girls put together a stitch-perfect playlist and we had a knitting dance party. It was a great way to take a break from our knitting (though some of us knit while we danced) and have some grooves together!!!
We laughed, we shimmied, and we dropped it low!
Listen to the playlist here:
Highlight #4 — Games
We were fortunate enough to have my dear friend Patty Lyons as our host for a few knitting-themed competitions. With her impeccable game-master skills, she led us through several rounds of Jeopardy and the Match Game.
Jeopardy had questions from categories like Where in the World, Knitters Grab Bag, Famous Knitters, and Infamous Knits. One category was LOLA fun facts — and every answer was thong!!!!! I did NOT see that coming (or maybe I did since I wrote that one). In Match Game, we were in stitches over each person's unique buzzer noises!
Patty's warm and outgoing personality brought everyone together, creating a fun atmosphere that encouraged camaraderie and competition. Her enthusiasm was infectious and it was impossible not to feel energized by her presence. Everyone had a blast participating and sharing their love for the craft. A big THANK YOU to her for making this portion of the event so memorable — her expertise, energy, and passion made for a competition we won't soon forget.
HUGE THANK YOU
I would like to extend a huge thank you to the amazing team that helped organize Knit for Food 2023. Veronique, Suzy, Bonnie, and Nicole! Your dedication and hard work made this event a huge success. Your skills in email communication, organization, community outreach, and all-around uplifting energy were indispensable! We make one heck of a fundraising sandwich (IYKYK)!
Join us in 2024
If you're a knitter looking for a way to give back (or you know someone else who is), then you don't want to miss 2024’s Knit for Food Knit-a-thon that will take place again on March 23rd, 2024!
This is your chance to join forces with other like-minded crafters to make a difference in your community. You'll have the opportunity to fundraise for organizations fighting food insecurity and providing meals to those in need. You'll also be challenging yourself to knit for 12 hours, and who doesn’t want to do that?
Sign up for my email newsletter to hear when registration opens for 2024!