For several years, my primary volunteer work was accompanying my dog to animal-assisted therapy visits through the local SPCA.  He worked at hospitals and senior homes, among other places (like psych wards).  I loved it — with his tail-wagging enthusiasm, gentle nature and soft fur, my dog brought smiles to the faces of the sick and the elderly.  A typical Golden Retriever, he loved all of the attention he’d get during these visits.  It was a win-win.  Unfortunately, he is also prone to serious staph infections — some antibiotic-resistant — which eventually made these therapy visits too dangerous. 

For the last few years, I’ve been looking for some replacement volunteer work and I haven’t quite found what I’m looking for.  I had hopes of including knitting in this work.  For example, I put feelers out to a few places (women’s shelters, etc.) to see whether I could teach there but nothing came of it.  The other day, I had an idea.  I’m considering offering 2-hour private knitting lessons with the “fee” being a $50 (or more) check made out to one of three charitable organizations I would designate.  (I’d offer three somewhat divergent choices so students wouldn’t feel that I was imposing my charitable-giving values on them by offering just one.  Right now, I’m thinking of this one, this one and this one, all local organizations that I have more than a passing familiarity with.)  Depending on my schedule and the student’s, these lessons could be at my house, the student’s house or at a mutually convenient cafe.  The lessons could be for beginners or for knitters needing a refresher or help with a particular pattern or technique.  My goal would be to do this a few times a month, which over time could add up to a not insignificant amount of funds for these organizations.

I’ve taught knitting to plenty of friends and I have raised a respectable amount of money for my kids’ school by offering lessons like this at the school auction.  The way I look at it, I would be proselytizing for the church of knitting and helping my favorite charitable organizations at the same time.  Like the animal-assited therapy, it could be another win-win proposition.

So my questions is:  what do you think?  Do you think this would be well-received by friends (and, hopefully friends of friends)?  Do you think I should alter anything about this plan?  What do you think is the best way to get the word out?  Your input is sought!  THANKS!

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