The Orphan Foundation of America sends encouragement and care packages to foster kids heading off to college. In 2005, they started adding red scarves to the care packages. Well, you KNOW this caught on in the yarn-loving community. The first year, knitters and crocheters donated 3500 scarves. The next year, 15,000 scarves.
This year, the Red Scarf Project is running a little earlier. Now, in fact. So, if you'd like to donate to this cause, here are some guidlines:
1. Scarves should be about 60 inches (152 cm) long by 5-8 inches (13-20 cm) wide.
2. Scarves should be unisex - no lace. Boys are college-bound foster kids too! (The NEW fall Knitty has a great manly scarf pattern.)
3. Yarn - No laceweight, super-chunky, or mohair yarns.
4. Color - any shade of red, although other gender-neutral colors are welcome.
5. Deadline - get your scarves in by October 15.
6. Cash donations are always welcome, as OFA covers all packing and shipping costs for the care packages.
7. Get this - they actually had to limit how many scarves you can send in! Limit is 5 scarves per individual or organization.
For more information, where to send the scarves, and how to donate, see the Red Scarf Project site. They have lots of pattern links and more ways you can help OFA.