Have you ever thought to yourself, “Someone should…”? With Welcome Blanket, you can be the one to go for it.
Welcome Blanket reimagines a length of exclusion to one of inclusion. Whether you are super-crafty, craft-curious, or craft-averse, you can be a part of Welcome Blanket. Young or old, on your own or in a group, you can be part of our team. We would love your help.
Here’s why: the more people who know about Welcome Blanket, the more people will participate. The more participation, the larger our voice. Let’s come together and make this happen! Anyone who is motivated and/or inspired to welcome a new refugee to the United States can contribute. Even if you consider yourself a non-crafter, you can make Welcome Blanket a reality. Seriously.
Our “Come Together Blanket” sample pattern comprises 16 squares stitched together. In honor of those 16 individual squares, here are 16 different questions to ask yourself when figuring out how to spread the word:
1. “Am I a knitter, crocheter, weaver, quilter, sewer or other sort of crafter?”
Excellent! Join the project! Make a welcome blanket and share your beautiful work and story. Offer up your skills and share your knowledge. We have a tutorial on our website, but nothing beats sitting with someone and troubleshooting together. Knit in public and show how craftivists are making our mark.
2. “Do I know a knitter, crocheter, quilter, weaver, sewer, or other blanket making fiend/friend?”
Contact all the crafty people you know to join you in this project. Share why Welcome Blanket is important to you.
3. “Do I have any sort of social media account?”
If you have a social media account, please post about Welcome Blanket using #welcomeblanket. Follow us on Instagram: @welcomeblanket , Facebook: @welcomeblanket, Twitter: @welcomeblanket. Share the project. Share your #welcomeblanket as a work in progress and a finished piece. Post a story meaningful to you about immigration, migration, and relocation.
4. “Do I have email?”
Email everyone you think may be interested in Welcome Blanket. Here’s a simple email you can copy, paste, edit to your voice (if you wish), and send. If you receive newsletters from a source you think would dig Welcome Blanket, share your tip.
I am excited to be taking part in the Welcome Blanket project and wanted to share it with you. For more information, check out the website: www.WelcomeBlanket.org and follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as @welcomeblanket and #welcomeblanket.
5. “Am I part of an organization or know someone who works with refugees and other new immigrants in my area?”
We are looking to partner with resettlement groups across the country. There are many hyper-local groups doing wonderful work, and we would love to connect with them. Help us find each other! Ask a representative from the group (maybe it’s you!) to contact us (email@example.com).
6. “Am I part of a group that may be interested in learning about Welcome Blanket?”
Are you part of a knitting, crochet, weaving, quilting, or sewing circle? Are you part of a book club, camp group, traveling sports team, skydiving club, Mommy and Me group, Welcome America group, Red Hat Society, craft beer club, religious group, political group, community service group, cooking group, dinner club, women’s group, LGBTQIA group, bowling league, Facebook group, summer camp, alumni group, cultural group, etc.? Please share the project with them. Welcome Blanket is an ideal group project. The optional sample pattern has 16 individual squares, so people can get together to make their own blankets or collaborate on one.
7. “Do I know other groups that may be interested in Welcome Blanket?”
You don’t have to be officially in a group to share an idea. If you know someone who is part of a group that may be interested in making a Welcome Blanket, please share why this project is important to you. Maybe you’ll end up joining them.
8. Do I know individuals who may knit/crochet or quilt who aren’t on social media?
My mom isn’t on social media, so the only way she knows what I am doing is if I get in touch with her. Do you have a friend or relative or someone else you know like my mom? Keep her in the know! She would probably love to hear from you. (By the way, my mom does not yet knit, but she is excellent at spreading the word.)
9. “Do I know groups of people who may knit/crochet or quilt who aren’t on social media?
Contact the activities coordinators at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, community mental health centers, houses of worship, hospitals, etc., and share the project. Just because someone doesn’t have social media doesn’t mean she isn’t engaged and needle/hook ready! Knitting has been shown to be scientifically therapeutic as meditation. Creating a blanket can be a part of someone’s recovery or self-care regimen.
10. “Do I have a local news outlet?”
If you know your local radio or TV station, local newspaper or website, write a letter to the editor, or contact the station to share news about Welcome Blanket. If you are hosting or joining a Welcome Blanket gathering, invite someone from the media to come. Wouldn’t it be great to have some positive local news with a national impact?
11. Do I know a local yarn store that isn’t on the Locations page?
Get in touch with them and let them know about your interest in the Welcome Blanket Project. Chances are, there are other people in your area who are, too. Give the local yarn store this link so they can let people know how they are participating. You will be helping other knitters in your area find a base and be helping a small business.
12. “Do I have a printer, and do I know how to make copies?”
If you know how to make copies, print out a version of our flyer (one or two sided). If you are feeling extra creative, feel free to make your own!
13. “Have I seen a bulletin board?”
Yes, those good old fashioned bulletin boards at coffee shops, hospitals, restaurants, community centers, swimming pools, locker rooms, town halls, office buildings, city corners, etc., can be great places to post about Welcome Blanket. Make sure it is ok with the bulletin board owner to post. Check back in from time to time to make sure your post is still visible.
14. “Do I know an influencer who may be interested in this project?”
Reach out to this person and let her know why Welcome Blanket is important to you and include a link to our website so she can find out more. Can you imagine if 10 or 100 or 1000 of us reached out as fans with this project? (Some people have mentioned Lin-Manuel Miranda, America Ferrara, Gina Rodriguez, and others…). You may also be an “influencer” yourself.
15. Am I a photographer?
Offer to take portraits of people making Welcome Blankets in your local area! Share them with #welcomeblanket on social media or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
16. Do I know a second language?
If you are able to translate our flyers or patterns into another language, we would love your help. Please contact us at email@example.com.
Please consider what you may be able to do to help spread the word about Welcome Blanket. It's our collective voices and actions that make this project powerful. All are welcome.