Make a Difference: Red Scarf Project

This month's Make a Difference is a crafty one. If you knit or crochet, or have ever wanted to learn, this challenge is for you! 

The organization I'm highlighting this month is called Foster Care to Success. Here's a brief overview of what they do for young adults who grew up in the foster care system:

Foster Care to Success (formerly the Orphan Foundation of America) is the oldest and largest national organization serving older foster youth. Since 1981 Foster Care to Success (FC2S) has helped over 50,000 youth attend post-secondary programs and become productive, contributing members of their communities. Today, we provide 5,000 annually with college scholarships and grants, care packages and family-like support, academic and personal mentoring, and internships and employment readiness skills. FC2S helps young people take control of their futures and achieve their goals.
In many states, foster youth must leave the social services system (also known as “aging out”) when they turn 18 or graduate from high school. But few young people are capable of starting adulthood on their own at the age of 18; imagine starting out as a foster child with no family and no guardian to help you establish an independent life.

I remember well the challenges and stresses of college. At this time as much as ever (and I think perhaps more), students need to feel loved and supported. I can't imagine making it through all that without the support of a family. That's why I am so impressed with this program that mentors and supports students emotionally, financially, and logistically to help them achieve success and thrive. Part of that support includes care packages. Every Valentines Day all the students in the Foster Care to Success program receive a care package which includes a handmade red scarf. That's where we come in.


Size: approximately 60” long and 5” to 8” wide. Scarves should be long enough to be wrapped around the neck, with tails long enough to be tied in the front. 
Style: Think unisex collegiate. Fringes are optional. Your scarf should drape, tie easily and be soft.
Color: Red! However, this could mean burgundy, cherry, russet, red stripes with other colors, or multicolor hues including red. 
Finished & tagged: Yarn ends should be securely sewn in. For a personal touch, attach a tag saying “Handmade for You” with your first name, city, and group affiliation, if any. Donors have also included washing instructions, messages of encouragement, gift cards, and more.
Mail to: Foster Care to Success, Red Scarf Project
21351 Gentry Drive Suite 130 
Sterling, VA 20166
NOTE: Scarves are accepted between September 1 and December 15 annually.  As we have limited storage space, please send your scarves only during this time period.

I will admit that I feel 5-8 inches is kind of wide, so I may or may not have made mine a little thinner than that, but you definitely don't want to go too short, stick with the 60 inches or longer. There are several free patterns for handmade scarves on the Foster Care to Success Website, find those and more info here.

These are the scarves I made for this year. I'm no expert at needlecraft, but even using a simple stitch or two can turn out a pretty decent scarf. Program coordinators suggest including a hand-written note and/or a gift card if you'd like. Just imagine how happy you would feel to receive a care package like this. There's is also a Red Scarf emergency fund that helps the students in times of greater need, in case you are interested in investing more than yarn in this great organization.  

Thanks for taking the time to read this today. Now go get some red yarn!

- Haley


  1. What a great cause. Your scarves are beautiful. Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!


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