SFSO 2013: And the Colours Are ….

September 2012 Update:  although Special Olympics International and Red Heart have concluded the project, a group of crafters have continued the project with individual state programs.   The latest updated information on this project can be found here.




Scarves for Special Olympics, and their sponsor, Coats and Clark/Red Heart yarn have announced that there will be no Scarf Project for 2013. 

This is the announcement that was just posted on their website: 

 Special Olympics USA Scarf Project Concludes

June 19, 2012 – Special Olympics, Coats & Clark, and Red Heart Yarn are announcing the conclusion of their partnership and the Special Olympics USA Scarf Project. Special Olympics North America will not be conducting a USA Scarf Project in 2013.  

We sincerely regret any disappointment this causes and appreciate your generosity.
Special Olympics and Red Heart Yarn would like to thank the thousands of dedicated volunteers who donated to the 2011 and 2012 USA Scarf Projects.  Special Olympics Programs across the United States were overwhelmed with the generosity of those who took considerable time and effort to knit and crochet scarves for their athletes & supporters.  

The program became so popular that donations outpaced the number of Special Olympics winter athletes and supporters.  It was as important to us, as we know it was to you, that each and every scarf made it into the hands of the intended recipient – an athlete or supporter – something we cannot ensure going forward, due to the high volume of excess scarves.

Special Olympics will distribute the extra scarves received in 2012 during the 2013 winter games season.

A disappointment?  Major.  Rather disappointing, after all this time.

Sometime in May, I started checking their website and Facebook page on any updates about the scarf colours.  Towards the end of May, I checked in twice a day, joining other anxious and impatient crafters waiting for the colour announcement.  Even checked in on weekends, when I know that nobody would be working – but hey! maybe they were, since this was a big project.  The beginning of June, I checked in several times a day.  When I went to Walmart or Michael’s, I would look carefully at the Red Heart section, and scrutinize if there were more of two colours in stock out on the shelf than normal.  There was none.

I’ve had this draft post and spreadsheet ready, with all the information on the project – size, states, numbers needed.  I browsed through hundreds of websites, looking for knit and crochet patterns that would look good made with two colours, for children, for athletes.  I planned out the postings on the progress of the scarves on the blog – the beginning, the middle, and the completed project.

And instead of posting about the excitement of starting this project, I am writing instead of the disappointment and the angst that went with waiting for an announcement that we did not want to hear.

ay-yaaay ….  I’m sure something could have been done so that this project could have continued, but we don’t really know what went on behind the scenes that led to this decision, or what the reality was like for those offices who had to handle the volume of incoming scarves.  I wouldn’t have minded working on counting incoming scarves.  (I’m sure I would have seen more patterns and colour combinations to add to my collection to try out!)

On the other hand  … donations outpaced the number of athletes and supporters.  What does that say about us crocheting and knitting crafters?  That we’re generous.  That when we all get together to support and craft for a cause, we surpass all expectations.  That we’re AWESOME!!!  Isn’t that great?

So … off to look for another project to support.  There’s lots out there.  I still have patterns to try out, and a yarn stash that needs to be used up.


12 thoughts on “SFSO 2013: And the Colours Are ….

  1. I am disappointed about no scarf project this year. I am retired and enjoy knitting and crocheting. I have been anxiously awaiting the two new colors of yarn for 2013. I’ll look for another worthy cause to make things for. I do make laprobes for Hospice which they enjoy getting.

    • Hi Joyce,
      A group from Facebook has continued the scarf project for the Special Olympics. See my most recent post on the scarves I just finished. We contacted individual state programs, and there’s 16 states participating in the scarf project.
      If you are on Facebook, come and join us on the page – Knit and Crochet for a Cause.
      If you are on Ravelry, you can join the group State Special Olympics Scarf Project.
      I will also be updating here on the blog on the progress of the project.
      Thanks and hope to see you again.

  2. I too am disappointed as to this orginazation is my pet project since I work with special needs students during the school year. I too do a lot of things for charaity, have sent a ton of knitted caps to Vanderbuilt in Nashville, tn. Will be sending more to the homless shelters and cemo clinics in the area, so if you know of groups that need them let me know. again thanks to all who supported special olympics.

    • Hi Vickie,
      A lot of the crafters also felt the same way, and have reached out individually to some states to continue the scarf project. I’ve posted about the group activities as well on the blog – Knit and Crochet for a Cause. The group is on Facebook, if you want to have a look. So far we have two states that want to continue the scarf project, and another six who are considering whether to continue.

      • I was! I did it a few years ago for California and this year for Arizona. Unfortunately, when I went to send off my scarves Arizona said they had all they needed and to send them to some other state. I ended up sending them to Utah after clicking on a few different states and getting the same result.

        I was not on the FB page, I didn’t realize they had one. Although, now that I think about it I don’t know why I didn’t, since everyone has a facebook.

        • I found out about this late last year, so I only got five done, which I sent to South Dakota. There was also a group on Ravelry, which I didn’t think about. anyway, I’ll be making some for the Purple Stitch Project now.

  3. Tres disappointing yes………… but as you pointed out, very cool that the donations were so huge in volume ! I personally like to make things for charity, esp. local ones …but there are so many worthy ones out there…

    • I haven’t found a local one here yet, surprisingly enough. The one I found close to home doesn’t seem to have done anything in the past couple of years.

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