Change Makers

Author Debbie Macomber puts love in every stitch

Northwest author Debbie Macomber is international spokesperson for Knit for Kids.

It started out as an accident early one morning at the Newark airport, Debbie Macomber remembers. She struggled to balance luggage, her purse, a knitting project, and a steaming cup of coffee — which soon spilled across the floor. A stranger waiting in the long Starbucks line witnessed her dilemma and bought her another cup.

“All the way home, I just had this really good feeling,” recalls Debbie, The New York Times best-selling author who lives in Port Orchard, Washington. “I kept thinking about all the little ways we have to be generous without it costing us very much.”

The stranger’s simple act inspired Debbie to practice that same generosity herself — including writing a devotional book on generosity, “One Simple Act.” Now Debbie is extending the concept to crafters in her new role as international spokesperson for Knit for Kids, World Vision’s program that encourages those who knit and crochet to craft warm clothes for children in need around the world.

Knitters by nature are generous. If you’re a knitter you have a heart — a big heart.—Debbie Macomber

In 2011, knitters donated 66,000 sweaters to World Vision’s Knit for Kids. But the need is still great. World Vision field staff report that 900,000 children need sweaters and more than 1 million infants and toddlers need caps and blankets to help them survive their first highly vulnerable years.

Debbie inherited her knack for knitting from her grandmother. Because Debbie had dyslexia, she didn’t learn to read until she was 10. So she pursued non-reading activities, including pestering her mother to take her to the yarn store where local women taught Debbie the craft.

For the past three years, Debbie has led her own national charity initiative, Knit One Bless Two, encouraging others to donate handmade sweaters, hats, or blankets to those in need. She believes that knitters convey a message of love with each small stitch and the gift of hand-knitted clothes is a warm reminder to children that someone thought about them.

The international scope of World Vision’s work appeals to the author, whose books are best-sellers around the globe. “This has the potential of really reaching a lot more people,” Debbie says. “Knitters by nature are generous. If you’re a knitter you have a heart — a big heart.”

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