Many of the children who are in Daycare have only thin "winter" coats, many with no hoods, and thin mittens if any. The Social Service seem to provide only thin outer wear and many of the parents are not able to afford much either.
Phone the Food Bank and see if they have a box of mitts and hats for their clients if needed. Phone the Inner City High Schools to see if there is an Infant Daycare or Infant Lab (only the method of funding is different) at the school. Skip the agencies -they seem to want to save all the donations for the Christmas party.
Our policy with our donations is simple -everything we donate MUST be given immediately to the people who need it for FREE. Many single parent families have to choose between a pair of mitts and food.
Phone the Daycare to get any special information regarding color or size of items but here are some guidelines:
Color- unisex is best since you don't know if a boy or a girl
will be wearing what you make. Young children don't wear dark
colors -our Daycare Centers have asked for Mint Green, Pale Blue,
and Light Yellow. Hats- Warm, fairly heavy, with thick, extra wide
This Hat pattern was designed with the help of one of the Infant Lab Directors and has been a big hit with the teen moms and their children.
Mittens: thumbless for 2 year olds and younger. Fasten the mitts
to a 28 inch cord that can be inserted through the sleeves of the
coat so the mittens don't get lost. Make them out of thick yarn
(Red Heart Comfort works very well and a 1 pound ball will make 9
pairs of mitts (or almost 24 pair if knitted. They should be
These Mittens are usually used as "over-mitts" with a pair of knitted mitts inside. They are a bit thick and clunky because there is a second mitt inside but girls say they are really warm. Don't forget, in many cases these are the only mittens the child will get.
Scarves: 5 1/2 inches wide by 40 inches long. No fringe.
What not to make and give:
Don't use black! It is considered a "gang" color.
Light weight, frilly or fancy, open stitches, will not keep a child warm.
If making sweaters, don't do graphs or cables and bobbles.
This labor of love is not about making fancy but making a lot
of serviceable outer wear.
And the hat or mittens you give might be the only warm and cheerful thing the child gets this year.