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)
Knitting4Peace began as an idea and has grown into a global movement. During our first decade we served more than 100,000 people.
Our story began in July 2004 at the Chautauqua Institution (Western New York State.) That summer, I was deeply moved by Sister Joan Chittister’s prophesy that peace will never happen until women get actively involved in radical new ways, and complementary messages from several women who live in a Jewish-Christian-Muslim community in Israel called Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salaam (“Oasis of Peace”.) The messages haunted me for a full year. They were so relentless they felt like an insistent yearning, like something trying to birth itself.
The following summer my family returned 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 friendly 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”, (now abbreviated to 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 anyone 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 (2010), 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. By June 2017, we had served over 112,000 people in communities across the United States and 70 countries around the world.
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.
Knitting4Peace is currently in the search process for a new Executive Director, effective Winter 2018.
The Executive Director is the key management leader of Knitting4Peace. The Executive Director is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs and strategic plan of the organization. Other key duties include fundraising, marketing, and community outreach. The position reports directly to the Board of Directors.
We are at a crossroads as an organization. Our history is rooted in interfaith spirituality, the power of intention, and galvanizing the Beloved Community to craft hope, healing and peace in the form of crafted items delivered to those in need around the world. However, we recognize that the future is as yet uncharted and will require us to adapt and change if we wish to reach a broader audience of crafters, funders, recipients, and volunteers. Throughout this process we seek to stay true to our core values, those whom we serve, and our compassionate creative action.
Realities we face:
●We are a bifurcated organization, with the “head” in Denver and the “heart” at Chautauqua Institution in New York.
●We are grappling with blending our spiritual roots with more universally-appealing language.
●We would like to diversify our volunteer corps and attract individual volunteers with specific skill sets which would benefit our organization.
●We want to expand our partnerships to reach new members of the community.
●We endeavor to broaden our donor database and ability to apply for grants.
●Our website needs to be updated, but we would like input from the new executive director
The right person for this role will be a fearless and strategic visionary who helps us continue our tradition of crafting hope, healing and peace. The Executive Director will weave in new and varied funders, community partners, volunteers, and board members, be comfortable handling ambiguity, and excel at risk-taking while exuding passion at every turn. We are small but mighty, and excited to both maintain and grow our relationships, increase fundraising potential, implement new ideas, and chart a long-term course together.
●A bachelor’s degree
●Transparent and high integrity leadership
●Nonprofit management experience preferred
●Financial skills to be able to assist in developing and managing the annual budget
●Organizational abilities including planning, delegating, program development and task facilitation
●Ability to convey a vision of Knitting4Peace’s strategic future to staff, board, volunteers and donors
●Knowledge of fundraising strategies and donor relations
●Skills to collaborate with and motivate board members and other volunteers
●Strong written and oral communication skills
●Ability to interface and engage diverse volunteer and donor groups
●Demonstrated ability to oversee and collaborate with staff and volunteers
●Strong public speaking ability
This Denver-based part-time position (20 hours/week) offers a flexible schedule and pays $25,000 annually without benefits. The aim is for you to transform this position into a full-time role through expansion of existing programs and successful fundraising initiatives.
To submit an application, email your resume and maximum 500 word statement describing why you are interested in this position to Arna Caplan, Board Chair (email@example.com.) Submissions will be reviewed as they are received.
Knitting4Peace does not discriminate in its services and programs on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, religion or religious creed, disability, handicap, sex or gender, sexual orientation, military or veteran status, genetic information or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state or local law. Retaliation is also prohibited.
Knitting4Peace will comply with all state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination, all as amended.
Unlawful discrimination has no place at Knitting4Peace and offends the core values of the organization which includes a commitment to equal opportunity and inclusion.
All Board members, employees, volunteers and community are expected to join with Knitting4Peace and uphold this commitment.
Knitting4Peace is an equal employment opportunity/affirmative action employer.