They donate both to foreign orphanages and to people in need here in the United States. Nothing against Afghans for Afghans or Warm up America, but I prefer Warm Woolies' more global view.
They also want knitters and crocheters to use animal fibers, as there is just no comparison warmth-wise. Since these are the kinds of fibers I most have in my odds and ends drawer, this works great for me.
Here is their description of what they do:
"In 2007, Warm Woolies delivered 5,724 pieces of warm clothing to children in orphanages in Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia and on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations. In 2008, we will continue to support children in the same areas. We will also be helping children in a few special-needs orphanages in China. ...
Many orphanages in Eastern Europe are very poorly heated. Some do not have hot running water. The children share what few warm clothes there are. Often, the felted socks we send serve as their only shoes.
Knitting for Rosebud - Knitting for Pine Ridge Reservation
The Rosebud and Pine Ridge Reservations in South Dakota have the lowest per capita incomes in the United States. An Indian Country Today article reported that 29% of the people on the Rosebud Reservation are homeless, and 59% live in housing that is substandard. Warm children's clothing is scarce, both because of expense and because the reservations are geographically isolated.
What a difference a warm wool sweater, vest, or socks can make for these children!"They had a special project going this year. For every 25 qualifying items (in this case, vests, sweaters and socks of toddler size and larger) they would send you a gift. I didn't know if I would be able to make the golden number, but I decided to knit a few things at a time and just see what I ended up with. I was doing pretty well until the arthritis in my hands got worse, but though it slowed me down, I was still able to make some progress. I finally decided to finish what I had, and get them sent out, even though I was short of the mark. After all, it's not whether or not I get a present that matters, but that 20-some people will be warmer this winter.
My point is that even a small effort, made repeatedly, can make a much bigger difference than I imagined at the beginning of the summer.
If you want to donate by making items, they have several free crocheting and knitting patterns HERE.
If you don't knit or crochet, I encourage you to donate in some other way. Maybe some gas money for that long drive from Colorado to South Dakota? They deliver stuff themselves there.
Here are images of what I was able to knit this year for them. I also threw a few Elijah hats in the box I'd made for pattern samples that may be useful to them (pics in earlier post). Note the beautiful buttons, donated by Ysabeau :-}