Today I'm honored to be able to tell you about a wonderful charitable organization, KidKnits, that is changing lives around the world... all started by a 9 year old!
KidKnits.org was started by Ellie of Peoria Illinois, when she was just 9 years old. She had learned to use circular knitting looms in Girl Scouts, and had learned about the plight of the people in Rwanda from her parents. Hearing of a group of widows and their families in Rwanda that was handspinning merino yarn, she got inspired! And KidKnits was born!
KidKnits sells finished hats, as well as amazing hat kits with the yarn spun by these women. As described on their website:
- One round loom
- One knitting hook
- One needle
- One sustainable, eco-friendly cotton carrying bag for all your knitting supplies, hand-sewn by the women.
- One personalized gift tag
- One KidKnits logo tag, made in Nairobi, Kenya from recycled aluminum cans.
- Instructions needed to complete your KidKnits hat
KidKnits was kind enough to send me some of their gorgeous items, including a finished hat, shown above. Here's what was in the bag:
And last night I got to sit down and give it a try! I had never tried loom knitting before, but the instructions that come with the kit made it super easy... and I discovered it's pretty darn addictive. Definitely a "just one more row" situation!
The yarn was lovely to work with too. And Ellie seems to be having a lot of fun with KidKnits as well. Of course, there is a lot of hard work involved! KidKnits is a registered nonprofit, and now her whole family is involved in this wonderful work.
And it's helping so many other families! In Rwanda, there are 35 different women involved in spinning and raising sheep - and now their families have health care, and their children are able to go to school, and the entire local economy benefits. You can read about their work in Rwanda here.
After getting set up in Rwanda, KidKnits was able to spread their work to Chile, where there are now 16 women spinning yarn and taking care of their families. You can read about some of the amazing Chilean women here.
I'm so very impressed with Ellie and all the work she has done to help the people of both Rwanda and Chile. As Ellie says, "You're never too young to change a life on the other side of the world!" I hope you'll all Visit KidKnits.org and read more about Ellie's work - and consider purchasing a loom kit from Rwanda or Chile for yourself or as a gift!
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