If you sew, knit, quilt or crochet--and have some spare time--a number of charitable organizations eagerly await your creative contributions. You can work on these projects as part of a group or by yourself. There are dozens of projects and organizations across the country; here are some with local affiliations.
* ABC Quilts. Provides quilts to children who are HIV-positive, abandoned by families or prenatally exposed to alcohol and/or other drugs. D.C. coordinator: Marilyn Lyle, 703-471-4443.
* ComfortCaps and ComfortPillows. Sponsored by the Husqvarna Viking sewing-machine dealers. Volunteers make pillows for patients who have had a mastectomy or open-heart surgery, and caps for those who have lost their hair after chemotherapy.A National Comfort Days program is scheduled for Sept. 17-18, when many Viking sewing centers will sponsor a weekend sewing event at various local stores. General information: http://www.husqvarnaviking.com, or call 1-800-358-0001.
* Binky Patrol. Volunteers make blankets for babies in intensive care units, those with chronic or terminal illnesses, and others who have been abused and are in shelters, foster care or are otherwise experiencing trauma or loss. A Bink-a-Thon is scheduled for Oct. 23. Michelle Suite is the coordinator for the Prince William County area and Fredericksburg. Information: 703-369-4922, or email@example.com.
* Project Linus. Provides security blankets for seriously ill or traumatized children. Blankets should be washable. NIH's Children's Inn in Bethesda (www.childrensinn.org) is one of the main beneficiaries of this program. Also needed are booties, mittens, caps and scarves. Project Linus blanket-making day is scheduled for Feb. 19. Area coordinators: Maryland--Paula Goldberg, 1-301-253-1198, LinusMD@aol.com; New Market, Md.--Carla Cranston, 1-301-831-3435, firstname.lastname@example.org; Arlington--Candice Manyin, 703-486-2036 (evenings), email@example.com; Fredericksburg--Shelly B. Shipman, 540-373-2816, Raindaykd@aol.com; Herndon--JoAnn Holley, 703-437-4764, JHolley99@aol.com.
* Newborns in Need--Southern Central Maryland Chapter. Makes and donates such items as blankets, hats, booties, gowns and shirts. Coordinator: Paula Riddle, 301-871-8905, firstname.lastname@example.org.