About a year ago, I learned of Peyton's Heart Project through a series of connections through friends, my sorority and the local news. The goal of the project is to raise awareness about suicide and bullying. The project is named after 13-year-old Peyton James who committed suicide after tormented by years of bullying. It's a tragic story. Thirteen years old.
The project has really grown over the past year or so. They now collect hearts in honor of specific people and events. It has spread across the globe. They gathered a big collection of hearts that they left throughout Orlando after the nightclub shooting recently.
I loved the idea of secretly leaving hearts for kids to find to promote a message of positivity. I left a few around the neighborhood and high school. I know one was found and posted to the Facebook page. I encouraged my mom and knitting group to make some as well.
Just last week, I was exchanging messages with a friend from high school who lives in California. She found a heart while vacationing in Nevada, looked up the Facebook page and found a link to one of my posts. She said she never heard of the story, but after looking up the website she used the heart to talk to her kids about Peyton's story, bullying and suicide. I was amazed by the small world-ness of it and then how powerful a simple knit or crocheted heart can be.
It brings it back to "why knitting." It's more than making socks and sweaters. Taking the time to collect the supplies, find the pattern, and put a little of your soul into a project can make even a simple heart extra special. Yarn bombing and "craftivism" make a statement. Like any art form might go unappreciated by some, but if it reaches a few - it matters.
I have plans for my classes to try yarn bombing and dropping Peyton Hearts as part of our school's random acts of kindness message. Learning to make a knit heart teaches shaping, for sure, but I feel like this part of knitting and sharing this side of it is as important as making hats to give as gifts.
There are countless other organizations collecting caps for premies and scarves for the homeless. Church groups or individuals make prayer shawls for those in need. I'll share more about these stories, but I'd love to hear more. What charities have you knit for and why?