We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization comprised of thousands of knitters, crocheters, and supporters. We live in communities across the United States and Canada. We create individually and in groups called Peace Pods. We are as young as six and as “seasoned” as 101. We are dedicated to making a difference in the world, day after day after day.
To learn more about our Peace Pods, click on the “Join Us” link above.
To see a list of those we serve, click on the “What We Do” link above. When you reach that page, click on the “Deliveries” link. To see photos, click on the various “View Photos” links.
To read about our Mission, click on the “Home” link above and scroll down to the bottom of the page.
(By founder, Susan McKee)
In July 2004, I was deeply moved by messages I heard at the Chautauqua Institution (Chautauqua, New York) by Sister Joan Chittister, an outspoken Benedictine nun, and several women who live in a Jewish-Christian-Muslim community in Israel called Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salaam (“Oasis of Peace”.) Sister Joan prophesied that peace will never happen until women get actively involved in radical new ways. The Middle Eastern women implored us to remember them after they returned to Israel. The two messages would not leave me; in fact, they felt like an insistent yearning, like something trying to birth itself. Through the following autumn, winter, and spring months I struggled with the yearning, praying for clarity. I consulted with my Spiritual Director, several priests and ministers, friends, and family, but clarity would not come.
The following summer we traveled back to Chautauqua. One hot July weekend my teen-age daughter and her friend wanted to go shopping at a nearby mall. I hate to shop so I sat in the food court knitting a very simple prayer shawl for a friend. Suddenly I was seized by a vision that was so powerful I knew I had to write it down immediately. I had some deposit slips in my checkbook to use as paper, but I had no pen or pencil. I unsuccessfully searched every single store around the food court for some kind of writing instrument and finally borrowed a red pen from a store clerk. I began recording the vision I’d received. I used up the deposit slips and then wrote on food court napkins. My daughter and her friend finished shopping and we returned to Chautauqua. That night, and for several subsequent nights, I woke up with more insights and inspirations. I got up repeatedly and recorded the new thoughts on my laptop. It felt as if something was nudging me to create a vehicle for women to prayerfully remember other women in global areas of conflict while simultaneously engaging in nonviolent action for peace. There was also an overwhelming feeling that we needed to symbolically incorporate the three Abrahamic faith traditions; if we could “knit together” the Abrahamic family I believed we could actually offer tangible hope for peace among the entire global family.
Finally, I organized my notes and formulated a proposal for a new entity, “women4women-knitting4peace.” The Chautauqua Department of Religion embraced the proposal and agreed to sponsor the program the following summer.
On June 25, 2006 we launched women4women-knitting4peace, not knowing if any one would show up. Women not only showed up; they went home and told friends and family about the program. Word spread and a capillary network spread across the United States and Canada. In our first year we were named a semi-finalist for the Temple Award for Creative Altruism. In 2007 we officially incorporated and in 2008 we were awarded status as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. By the close of our fourth year we had created over 10,000 items and completed personal deliveries to women and children in over twenty countries. We celebrated our fifth anniversary (2011) with the completion of over 14,000 items and personal deliveries in 38 countries. By our sixth anniversary in 2012 we had created over 18,833 items and completed personal deliveries in 43 countries. By March 2013 we had created over 27,315 items and completed personal deliveries in 45 countries. By March 2016 we had created over 96,551 items; completed personal deliveries by 1,254 volunteer delivery agents in 65 countries; and launched our Community Purls program that serves the needs of people in our own communities who are experiencing homelessness and other forms of vulnerability and marginalization.
We continue to expand, attracting new members to our work and making personal deliveries in more and more communities around the world and close to home. We hope you will join our quiet revolution. We are committed to our simple instruments of peace-making: prayer, compassion, community, and the needles of our various crafts – we believe these are more powerful than bullets, tanks, and bombs. We know we are crafting global Peace while we knit together the Beloved Community, one stitch and one person at a time.