In 2009, crafter Sally Alsford read about a blogger selling handmade bags to raise money for victims of the crisis in Darfur, Sudan. Inspired by the example, and knowing other crafters also wanted to create for good, Sally started an organization to sell donated handcrafted items online and give the profits to charity. To date, her organization, made4aid, has donated over $6,500 for vital relief work. Currently, made4aid proceeds benefit Médecins sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders, an international medical aid organization.
made4aid sells a range of handmade items, including cards, home decor, apparel, bags and jewelry. In addition, made4aid accepts donations of arts and craft supplies and vintage items that are not handmade. Purchases are made through their Etsy shop, with the donors mailing items directly to buyers.
Crafter Pam Lambert became involved with made4aid when she wanted to put to good use a large stash of crafting supplies she’d received. She sought out charities interested in selling her creations and hit upon made4aid. “I would encourage anyone to volunteer for made4aid, as it makes such a difference to people all over the world. Every little bit helps and whatever items are made and sold, it will make a difference.” An eclectic crafter, Pam makes cards, exploding boxes, canvas clocks, embellishments, mobiles, jewelry and more. Sally, whose craft interests include weaving, spinning and knitting, expresses a sentiment all crafters can relate to: “One of the reasons why I started made4aid is that I love making things. I do make things as gifts for family and friends, but there’s a limit to how many of my creations they want!” She’s glad her crafts are able to generate funds for a good cause.
Sally encourages crafters everywhere to donate items, whatever their crafting specialty. “We like to have any kind of handmade items donated,” she say. “It’s lovely to have a range of different kinds of items. We rarely get art or design work, which is nice to have, too.” International buyers are welcome, as items can usually be shipped worldwide.
Inspired to donate something you’ve created? Full donation guidelines and instructions are available on made4aid’s website. Or, visit made4aid’s shop for craft supplies; you might find the right products for your next creative endeavor. And once you’ve finished your creation, you can donate it to made4aid knowing you’re helping someone access much-needed medical care.
Says Pam of the crafts she’s donated, “The odd sale makes my day.”