In 2005, the Orphan Foundation of America (now Foster Care to Success) launched a unique initiative to warm the hearts (and necks) of college-bound foster youth. We began taking donations of handmade red scarves to put into our Valentine’s Day Care Packages.
Word spread quickly around the charitable knitting/crocheting community. In the first year, we took in 3,500 scarves. The following year, that number swelled to over 15,000.
This deluge of generosity was spurred by a grass roots grapevine effect on the internet, thanks to popular knitting blog sites like Now Norma Knits.
Please follow these guidelines to ensure quality and ease of sorting for the Red Scarf Project Volunteers:
- Scarves can ONLY BE SENT between September 15 and December 15. Do not send scarves before or after these dates.
- Keep quality in mind. Would you give the scarf to your favorite niece or nephew as a gift? If not, it is not appropriate for this project.
- Scarves should be unisex. With thousands of scarves to sort, it would be almost impossible to match up scarves to an appropriate recipient. Also, today there are a lot of names that could be male or female.
- Yarn choice - Red is the preferred color. However, this could mean burgundy, cherry, russet, red stripes with other colors, or multicolor hues including red. DK is the preferred yarn weight.
You can send other items with your scarf to brighten a student’s day. Include a personal note of encouragement to keep a student’s spirits up during the cold months. Some of our foster youth say that hand-written notes mean as much as the care package items themselves.
Please secure your note with ribbon or string to the scarf, and you may include your first name, city and state. You can also mention any washing instructions. Care tags may be found on one of our pages.
A gift card from any national chain store is also welcome – Barnes and Noble, Target, Wal-Mart, Starbucks or any fast food chain. FC2S students LOVE gift cards! Please be aware that your gift card may not go to the same recipient as your scarf.
Foster Care to Success, Red Scarf Project
21351 Gentry Drive, Suite 130
Sterling, VA 20166