The needlearts speak to the heart of us all. Regardless of the type of needleart, the activity has always provided a way to relieve stress and release tension, promote wellness and uplift the spirit, and create communities of sharing.
TNNA Cares is the association's way of helping to promote the efforts of its members, as well as needlearts enthusiasts from around the world, to bring comfort, raise self-esteem, enhance self-awareness and, in general, help improve the lives of others.
When disaster strikes, as it did in Haiti and with Katrina, association members turn to TNNA Cares to donate funds and supplies. While basic needs are obviously a top concern, a donation of needles, yarn or thread can be a link to normalcy for some victims, to start the healing process and immerse themselves in the joy of creating again.
TNNA Cares also serves as a clearinghouse for members who are involved in a needlearts-related program or project. These currently include:
Needle and thREAD: Stitching for Literacy
In addition to collecting bookmarks to use as rewards for reading accomplishments, this program raises money for literacy projects. Founder/TNNA Member Jennifer Funk Weber and other independent designers donate 10% of profits from bookmark patterns bearing a Needle and ThREAD logo, and many shops host outreach programs during the Bookmark Challenge, teaching adults and kids how to stitch bookmarks. Visit JenFunkWeber.com for more information.
Stitch to WIN Against Breast Cancer
In 2004, TNNA launched a major community outreach initiative called Stitch to WIN Against Breast Cancer. The campaign has raised over $70,000 and reached millions of people through stitching projects and events across the country. TNNA members, as well as members of national needlearts guilds, volunteers and community members came together to support the cause. The project initially revolved around needlearts interpretations of the 55-cent U.S. Breast Cancer Research stamp, which to date has raised more than $54 million for research. TNNA encourages everyone to use and promote the stamp whenever possible.
Stitches from the Heart
Kathy Silverton founded this Santa Monica, CA-based charity organization/non-profit store in 2004. Since then, it has sent more than 500,000 hand-knitted or crocheted baby items (and a lot of love) to premature babies all across the nation. The organization also helps seniors by providing them with donated yarns and supplies. More information can be found at www.stitchesfromtheheart.org.
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors
TAPS is a non-profit veteran service organization offering hope, healing, comfort and care to thousands of American armed forces families facing the death of a loved one each year. Claire Wudowsky, a volunteer at TNNA’s Stitch to WIN events and one of TNNA's Unsung Heroes, contacted TNNA for support. As part of her Knitters & Crocheters Care group, she and fellow volunteers share their passion for the needlearts and help others find solace through the fiber arts. For more information, visit TAPS.org.
Walk to WIN Against Breast Cancer
At TNNA's Summer and Winter Markets, attendees walk to win against breast cancer right on the show floor: In return for a donation, participants sign up to wear a pedometer throughout the show. Awards are then presented for the most steps walked by an exhibitor and by an attendee. These walks are held in conjunction with the Love/Avon Army of Women organization. To learn more, visit ArmyofWomen.org.
TNNA has created two guides as downloadable PDFs to help you create a successful event of your own.
•TNNA Cares Charitable Event Planning Guide
•TNNA Cares Charitable Event Scheduling Guide
Are you a member of TNNA and involved in a needlearts project or program helping others? Contact us today and learn whether TNNA Cares can help get your message to a larger audience.