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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Knots of Love, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Cancer, Human Services, Humanities, Single Organization Support

Mission: Our mission is to warm the hearts and heads of those experiencing traumatic hair loss. Knots of Love has distributed nearly ½ million handmade beanies, blankets, and other items that have brought smiles to children, veterans, women, and men in 50 states - all at no cost to the hospitals or the patients.

Results: Thanks to you, your support has repeatedly played a key role in our success of gifting over: 550,000 caps to men and women and children battling cancer. 90,000 NICU blankets to precious new lives incubators. 100,000 caps to Veterans. 81,000 caps to children.

Target demographics: Men, women and children feel comfort and warmth as they undergo Chemotherapy.

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 1/2 million people.

Geographic areas served: Cancer Patients across the United States

Programs: Founded in 2007, our mission is to help people experiencing the effects of chemo by providing handmade gifts of love, connection, and warmth. We expanded this mission in 2013 to include tiny blankets for neonatal babies in ICU incubators.

Community Stories

131 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

Just discovered this group when I picked up a donated hat at my local cancer center.
Love their patterns and have been to knit a hat to donate. Top notch non profit!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Knots of Love is amazing. My absolute favorite part of donating handmade hats to them is that Christine tells you where they are donated, it really makes you feel a personal connection to your donation. I have been creating hats for Knots of Love for 10 years and it is my favorite charity to support.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great non-profit. They give volunteers like me clear direction and provide the items we make to cancer patients and premie babies at no cost.

1 Patty G.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first found Knots of Love during the beginning of the pandemic. I love to make the preemie baby blankets, since my twins were preemies and spent several months in the NICU/ICU. It's just a little way to give back for the support I received back then.
The Knots of Love staff always calls or emails me to let me know when they have received my packages and what cities my colorful creations are off to.
I also have Knots of Love designated as my 'Amazon Smile' donation group, so I can help with their shipping costs.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being relatively new to knitting hats but feeling very motivated by the need for them, I selected a few different patterns from the Knots of Love website. There are so many lovely patterns from which to choose! I also find it helpful that the organization provides a list of (many) approved yarns, as well as guidelines for donations.
After slowly and carefully completing my 3 first hats, I mailed them, hoping that they would be acceptable. I was delighted to receive a phone message from Christine, the Founder of the organization, confirming their safe arrival, complimenting them(!) and telling me to which cities they would be distributed. Knowing that the hats were designated for specific individuals felt so personal and gratifying.

1 Suzette M. G.

Donor

Rating: 5

I found Knots of love by making beanies though another group for them. I have been making beanies for Knots of Love for over a year now. I love what they do.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had been looking for a way to help those in need and also looking for an outlet for my love of knitting. I found the perfect match! Knots of Love distributes hand knit or crocheted blankets to intensive care neonatal units throughout the United States. They even tell me where my creations were sent. It is a very rewarding project. I love this nonprofit!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This nonprofit is amazing in its reach across the country providing warmth and soft love in the form of blankets and caps for preemies as well as veterans and cancer patients. I have been creating blankets and caps for them for almost five years now. Wonderful organization!

1 Gloria A.1

Donor

Rating: 5

I been knitting for Knots of love since July of this year , and what encourage me the most is the diversity of the places they send the bennies,I have more waiting to be send, and will keep on knitting.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love to crochet I find it very relaxing so this was the perfect charity to donate my creations to. Every time I send them a package of chemo caps I get a personal phone call not only to thank me for my work but also to let me know where EACH cap is going! They make the donations feel so personal and it makes me very happy to be able to use my crafts for something so meaningful

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Knots of Love, Inc. sent my mother the most beautiful hats when she was going through chemo and lost her hair. They truly touched our hearts!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A friend told me about Knots of Love as she is a fellow knitter. I started knitting beanies as a way to relax during the pandemic and now I'm addicted! I'm even working to get the class of 4th, 5th and 6th graders I volunteer with started on knitting scarves to donate.

One of the things I appreciate is the personal response to my donations. I like knowing the folks sending off my donated knitting are there for knitters as well as patients. I feel so much more involved because of that.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I retired 8 years ago I wanted not just a hobby but an activity that would use my talents to help others. When I read the Knots of Love founder's story, I knew this was the organization for me. I had learned how to crochet from my grandmother as a child and now when I make my hats I feel a wonderful connection to her as well as knowing I am warming someone's head and heart. I feel very blessed to be a part of this very wonderful and worthwhile organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

knots of love is a great charity. They make it easy to donate chemo hats, lap blankets and neonatal intensive care blankets. You send them to a knots of love near you and they send them to where ever they are needed.

1 Lita S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The compassion of this group is amazing. I reached out when my daughter's friend was struggling with cancer and chemo, and next thing I know, she was sent beautiful hats. Sadly, she passed, but she shared with my daughter how much it meant to her that people she didn't know cared about her enough to keep her warm and send her good vibes.

Donor

Rating: 5

Strong, compassionate individuals who care about easing the suffering for those experiencing medical crisis. Very positive and supportive. They do a great service.

Lynda Wilds D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

KoL is a true charity focused on the men and women ravaged by cancer, and the tiny babies born fighting for their lives in NICUS around the country. By providing hand made gifts of beanies to cover the heads of men and women who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy, free of charge, KoL is able to help these patients heal and retain their dignity in an otherwise horrific situation. The tiny blankets made by volunteers give the parents of very sick babies the ability to cuddle them on their visits to the NICU.

KOL is an organization founded by love and almost 100% staffed by volunteers and funded solely by donations. All caps and blankets are 100% hand made by volunteers and donated for free to the organization. The volunteer staff then ships them all over the United States to cancer centers, hospitals and NICUS. I am honored and proud to be a member of KoL.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

KoL is a true charity in every sense of the word. I love that it is not a "machine" but a loving nonprofit that thrives because of the dedication of its volunteers and founder. I retired and was looking for a worthwhile charity to volunteer for. I stumbled upon KOL through the recommendation of a cancer-survivor friend. When I hear feedback from the patients that receive our work, I know I chose the right place to spend my time. The hand-made Beanies and Blankets given to cancer patients and NICU babies are 100% free to them. The volunteers give their time and yarn to make these items by hand and donate them. When I work the booth at the OC Fair and hear the stories from cancer survivors that have received our beanies, it makes me cry with joy. My heart is full. I am so grateful to be a part of this wonderful organization! Here's a shot of some of the beanies I recently donated.

1 Rita M.2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been knitting beanies for Knots of Love for a year now and love the work they do getting my creations to those who will enjoy them. I get a personal phone call from Christine every month when they receive my package, to tell me where the beanies are going. I really appreciate their work, their encouragement and dedication.
I enjoy being part of this great team!!
Rita

Donor

Rating: 5

I like to knit and knitting to help those in need is the perfect combination. People who are going through a scary time find comfort with the items distributed by Knots of Love and made with love by hundreds of volunteers. It is such a sweet charity, I am happy and proud to donate my time and money to Knots of Love.

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Donor

Rating: 5

This is the sweetest charity providing an outlet for knitters and knotters and providing knitted items free of charge for cancer patients, veterans and at risk newborns all across the country. Something as simple as a knit cap can make a difference to someone going through a very scary time. Christine puts all of her heart and soul (and sweat) into the charity that she founded. I am so honored to be able to donate financially and with my knitting to Knots of Love.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization that provides free hats to chemo patients. It has given me a worthwhile place to send my knitted hats to people who appreciates them. It has to so hard to lose your hair during chemo, and these handmade hats help the patients know that people truly care about what they are going through!

Donor

Rating: 5

I was pleased to find Knots of Love on the internet. Retired and finding myself with some time on my hands and very limited skills in knitting I used the internet to improve my skills and started creating chemo beanies and NICU blankets. Not only is it a fulfilling project for me knowing I am helping others but it is decreasing my caregiver related stress. Knots of Love is a caring and efficient charity that not only helps men, women and children through devastating illness but encourages it’s donors for their creations. Thank you Knots of Love.

1 Esperanza M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had a great experience with Knots of Love! The team is always passionate, flexible and enthusiastic when I share new ideas and designs.Their dedication to helping others is inspiring and motivating.,which is exactly why I continue to volunteer.

1 Ellen K.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Enjoying crocheting and helping those in need of the items I make is a Win Win!
So Thrilled I found Christina and her Knots of Love

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

So Happy I found Knots of Love... Terrific knowing where my hats finally land.So enjoy making hats and blankets for those in need.
Thank You Knots of Love!
Ellen Kallinsky-Nemish
Rancho Bernardo,CA

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Knots of Love is a great non-profit organization! You crochet or knit NICU baby blankets and Chemo caps and ship them to Knots of Love, then they ship all that comes to them, across the country! It is so rewarding and fulfilling to use your time to help others. They don't know you, but they know you truly care for them!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am 87 years old and just started helping them this past year. I have done tons of volunteering over the years. Christine ...the founder... is amazing . She has thousands of volunteers but she makes me feel I'm special and needed. She has personally called me twice to thank me for volunteering and for contributing my first beanie. I have never felt soooo welcomed by any any other charity in my life. Thanks, Ken

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have arthritis in my hands, and I am a musician. In order to keep my fingers moving in MANY motions, other than just on the computer and at the harp, I crochet every evening while watching TV. I have made enough crochet items for myself and my friends, so now I am crocheting chemo caps to donate to Knots of Love. This was inspired by two close friends who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy. In my first batch, I made 27 crochet chemo caps. When I have another batch ready, I will send them along. It's a win-win situation; the crocheting keeps my fingers nimble and the caps help women suffering from hair loss due to cancer treatment.

1 Summer W.1

Donor

Rating: 5

Knots of Love is a great organization to donate to. The people there not only donate hats to cancer patients, but are very supportive of the people who crochet, knit, and design patterns for them. As a crochet donor, I had questions at the start. Every question was answered in a timely and helpful manner. Patterns are clear and easy to use and most are free. KOL just started selling some of their newest pattern, which is a great way to raise more money for their nonprofit.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been donating neo natal blankets to Knots of Love for the past 7 years. With every donation I receive a personal call thanking me for my gift. Christine Fabiani is the real deal and her tireless inspiration impacts all those she connects with whether they are cancer patients receiving hats, new mama's receiving blankets, veterans receiving hats or her teaching those in drug rehab how to knit and learn to feel valued. I am a better person for my involvement with Knots of Love.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been knitting and donating infant blankets to Knots of Love who sends them to over 500 NICU hospitals. Christine Fabrini's commitment to delivering knitted and crocheted caps and blankets to cancer patients and NICU's is a great service to those who need to know they are not alone. I would highly recommend you donate to this nonprofit because it plays such a spectacular role in helping those in need to feel warmth and love.

1 LoAnne E F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love to knit but you can only give away so many dishcloths. I was knitting for another chairity but discovered by accident that they were no longer accepting donations after I sent a full box of items. I discovered Knots of Love and have been extremely happy with them. I can knit a few different items, with different patterns and yarns and I get a phone call after every box is delivered. I can't stress enough how fullfilling it is to be able to continue to do something I love (knitting) and share the joy with others. Thanks Christine

1 dserviss

Donor

Rating: 5

I recently came across this website and fell in love with it. They allow us to help out those who are in need of warm and love through our ability to knit or crochet. It blesses my heart to be a part of this organization. I reside in North Carolina and have always enjoyed crocheting prayer shawls, blankets (NICU) and hats for those in need. May God continue to bless indeed this organization. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Blessings,
Debra

Greekgran

Donor

Rating: 5

Back in 2013 my sister was battling lung cancer and underwent chemotherapy. During a phone conversation she mentioned that after she lost her hair her head was always cold. I got online and googled chemo caps and came across the Knots of Love’s website. I sent a message and asked how I could get a couple of the caps for my sister. They asked me what her favorite colors were and said they’d send them to her at no cost to me. Soon after I began making caps and then later some NICU blankets for the babies with cancer. It is heartwarming to know I am helping others in need. I continue supporting Knots of Love with donations of caps, blankets and money to help with shipping costs. I am forever thankful for Knots of Love. Phyllis Miller

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

When my sister had cancer I looked online for caps to keep her head warm and fond Knots of Love. They sent her 2 beautiful caps for free! That was 4 years ago and I’ve been making caps and baby blankets for NICU ever since. I appreciate the personal thank you phone calls from the Founder, Christine Fabiano, when my donations are received. Proud to be able to help those in need. Knots of Love really makes a difference to those in need!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Knots of Love helped me get through some very tough months during the pandemic. Knowing that my crocheting projects were being sent to people and babies in need made me feel so good. Christine Fabiani, founder of Knots of Love, always calls or writes notes to let me know where my projects were sent. And she always makes sure to say thanks. This is an amazing nonprofit organization that helps the recipients as much as the knitters. The mission of this organization is truly remarkable and it shows what a difference people can make in others lives especially when they are going through rough times.

Donor

Rating: 5

My favorite part about Knots of Love is that they call me every time they receive my donations. Not only do they thank me personally but I also know which facility in the US is going to receive my NICU blankets or chemo hats!
Their kindness and willingness to help others in need is contagious. Go ahead and get your knitting needles or crochet hooks out and get started. You will love knowing that someone in need received your creation :)

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer for Knots of Love, Inc. by crocheting hats, blankets, hand warmers, and other items for cancer patients all over the United States. I enjoy crocheting for this nonprofit organization because of the kindness they provide for cancer patients going through chemotherapy and radiation. I believe in this company and who they stand for. I enjoy crocheting for them and it gives me a good feeling to give back. Thank you Knots of Love and all you do to help our cancer patients in need.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found a place that lets me do what I love! Knots of love takes my knitting and crocheting projects and places them with someone who is having a difficult time dealing with Cancer. I love how my enjoyment becomes a gift for someone who needs it!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Nonprofit Knots of Love:

Knots of Love is an extraordinary charity, and its founder, Christine Fabiani, is an extraordinary woman. She is an inspiration to all of us who volunteer for her charity, Knots of Love. Knots of Love is a nonprofit 501 (c) 3. Christine Fabiani created Knots of Love in 2007 after knitting caps for her son’s friend. He was going through chemotherapy and losing his hair. This was an “aha” moment for Christine. She recognized the need to provide comfort to the heads and hearts of those who had lost their hair through chemotherapy or other illnesses. That was to become the goal of Christine’s charity, Knots of Love. Knots of Love was born and given life. Knots of Love has given back to the communities of cancer patients, neonatal babies, veterans, and patients of other debilitating illnesses.

I first became aware of this exceptional charity at the Orange County Fair in 2010. I approached their table and learned about the charity, the mission, and the incredible opportunity for me to give to those in need. Here was a chance to combine my love of knitting and contribute to a worthy altruistic project. I was hooked and I have been knitting caps for Knots of Love since that day. Since that first Orange County Fair encounter, I have volunteered on Friday shipping days. I am now one of the contact people on the other side of the table at the Orange County Fair. I am always recruiting people to create caps for Knots of Love. I am always searching for ways to support, fund, and perpetuate this worthy charity.

Knots of Love is a charity that gives truly from the heart. Hundreds of knitters and knotters (crochet crafters) all over the United States create adorable caps, beautiful caps, patriotic caps, and blankets for neonatal intensive care unit babies. These creations are sent to Knots of Love free of charge. Not only do volunteers create these items, they donate the entire cost of the materials and the shipping to Knots of Love headquarters. Volunteers absorb the cost that goes to the manufacturing of the caps and blankets and the mailing of them to Knots of Love. The Knots of Love makers themselves encumber those costs. Imagine people all over the United States, independently creating items to donate to Knots of Love. That is what happens and is the real story of Knots of Love. It is truly a grass roots effort. Those of us who are the creators and the donators are inspired by Christine’s message and her giving nature. We want to give, too. We want to give comfort, too. As she says, “One head, one heart at a time.”

How are all of these caps sent from all over the United States dispersed? Volunteers meet every Friday for mailing day. Ten to twelve volunteers meet at Knots of Love headquarters, which is Christine’s home, to prepare for the mailing of over 1,000 caps and NICU blankets. Caps are packed twenty to a box. That translates to over 50 boxes mailed each week. Several of these volunteers have been involved in shipping day from the onset. That is a thirteen-year commitment and dedication. These incredible volunteers are committed to keeping Knots of Love moving forward. Those involved in shipping day make sure caps are sent to infusion centers, hospitals, oncology offices, neonatal intensive care units (NICU), and veterans’ administration offices. The shipping cycle to these locations repeats every eight to ten weeks. A new set of caps is sent to those infusion centers, hospitals, oncology offices, and veterans’ administration offices because Knots of Love knows those treatment centers will have new patients needing new caps and comfort. The donation cycle repeats because the need repeats. Knots of Love has given away 498,945 caps and blankets. The half million mark should be reached within the next two weeks.

It is important to point out the ramifications of the number 498,945. Each and every person of the 498,945 has a story to tell. Each and every person has had a medical trauma that has affected their life and the lives of their loved ones. Each and every person has also been affected by Knots of Love because each and every person was a Knots of Love recipient. The magnitude of this outreach is astounding. The magnitude of Knots of Love, and its founder Christine Fabiani, is equally astounding. The testimonials from recipients support this. Weekly, Christine posts on the Knots of Love website communications from cap recipients and donation location personnel. It is humbling to read the posts and recognize the impact of our donations. The postings are also impetus for all of us to keep on knitting and knotting for Knots of Love, for Christine, and for the dear cap and blanket recipients. It is our hope, that in no small measure, we have been able to give comfort. The comfort, the esthetic, and the joy these recipients experience tell the impact of Knots of Love and the dedication of its founder, Christine Fabiani, has had.


What is also amazing is the fact that Christine personally contacts each donor to let that donor know where the donated caps went. This personal touch is the keystone of this charity and shows Christine’s commitment to giving and supporting her givers. After each of my donations, I look forward to that personal call from Christine. I love hearing where my donated caps are going. This knowledge adds to my sense of purpose, and it stimulates me to continue to contribute.

This grant would provide the much needed funding to keep Knots of Love viable. The grant would provide weekly mailing costs and packaging supply costs.

What is the community this charity serves? It is a community of everyone. It is the community of cancer patients and their families. It is the community of premature infants and their families. It is the community of veterans and their families.

It is also the community of makers. Many of the makers have become friends over the years. We meet on shipping Fridays. We volunteer at the Knots of Love table at the Orange County Fair. We come together at the annual tea, last year attended by the hundreds of makers. Some meet once a month to create caps and socialize. Every year we attend an Angels baseball game, sit together, and make caps.

Christine’s biggest challenge is to keep up the ongoing funding of the charity. The source of funding is through donations. Christine has been very clever in searching out funding sources. She has aligned the charity with Ralph’s Market and Amazon Smile. A percentage of purchases go directly to Knots of Love. She has set up a monthly donation program so individuals, such as myself, can contribute to this charity regularly.

Knots of Love is Christine’s passion, and it is also her job. She is the only employee, as director, of the charity. To say she goes beyond her “every day” job is an understatement. She lives and breathes Knots of Love 24/7.

If you can imagine one woman with a vision, and that woman takes that vision and impacts the lives of 498,945 people, then you have the vision of Christine Fabiani.

It is with great love and pride that I nominate Knots of Love as one of the Top-Rated GREATNONPROFITS,

Karen Kirby
kirbycrusr@att.net
Mission Viejo, CA

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been sending hats to Knots of Love with a focus on children and veterans undergoing cancer treatment.
I particularly enjoy selecting colors suggested by KOL that represent the various branches of service. The hats are distributed to veterans all over the US.
It's such a treat to get feedback on where the items have gone.
1 skein makes two beanies so the cost is a pittance compared to the value of the recipient's service.

1 Brenda K.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Knots of Love helps so very many people in the hardest times of their lives. The sweet gesture of a hand made hat or neonatal baby blanket let’s people know that they are not alone. People who never meet each other are caring about each other. In this time of strife in our country thinking and caring about each other is the most important thing we need to do. Thank you Knots of Love for providing me as a crocheter a way to reach out and help other people.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found Knots of Love ❤️ during their second year. I am a knitter and wanted to try my hand and making chemo caps. Christine (the founder) is so altruistic and her generosity is contagious. This is the most heartfelt group and I am grateful to being a contributor.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began as a Knots of Love volunteer in 2019 after reading a brief news article about a woman and her project to donate hand crocheted and knitted caps to cancer patients. Over the years, I've seen this charity grow and grow due to the enthusiasm generated by its Founder, Christine Fabiani, who has inspired the support of hundreds of knitters and crocheters across the country. The result is nearly half a million handmade caps delivered to hospitals, cancer centers, and oncologist's offices,free of charge to patients in every state in the U.S. who have endured traumatic hair loss.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Very caring personnel non-profit, lots of info on what is required and getting out to veterans, cancer patients, etc.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

As a leader of Warm Hands-Warm Hearts Knitting & Crocheting Chrisian Group, I have had many heartwarming thoughts for Knots of Love. Our group makes and donates every item that we make and Knots of Love is the one that we give most of our hats and blankets to. As we make each stitch, we say a prayer for the individual who will receive our items. Christine, founder of Knots of Love is so compassionate and loving with this organization and she personally makes a phone call or email to every individual who contributes their items. What a challenge this must be for Christine, and it is always a pleasure to hear her sweet voice. Hats off to Knots of Love!

1 LA F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Knots Of Love changed my life. Before I got involved in Knots Of Love I felt like something was missing in my life. I wanted to get involved in the community but didn’t know how. Then I found Knots Of Love and found that I could use my hobby to help make a difference in other peoples lives. It is so fulfilling to be able to make caps for cancer patients are those that have lost their hair due to medical reasons. I feel like I am giving them a hug each time I send out a cap. It makes me feel like I have a purpose and a place in the community. It also makes me feel good that my caps go all over the United States.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I enjoy knitting beanies for chemo therapy rooms. Saying so seems to brighten people's day! Also, I am trying to engage any knitters - not much luck there...but I will keep trying! I am getting my donations nearly to 100 beanies, my first marker!
Ann Smith

Donor

Rating: 5

Love the generosity of these folks. Several recipients have let me know how much they appreciated their blankets at a really hard time in their lives.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been knitting caps for Knots of Love for over a decade. This excellent and unusual charity provides beautiful handmade caps for patients suffering hair loss due to chemotherapy and other medical conditions. Not many charities do this and for so many years! The patients and the Knots of Love staff are always deeply appreciative -- and interacting with them always gives me a happy lift! This is one of the best charities I have ever supported.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been knitting caps for this unique charity for about 10 years now. Knots of Love provides loving, comforting FREE caps for people going through a crisis medical situation - usually a cancer diagnosis, but often other traumatic health or surgical challenges as well. It is very difficult to cope with serious illness, but to lose one's hair and a dignified personal appearance can be devastating. Knots of Love's beautiful handmade caps let patients know that they are loved, respected and cherished as they work through their medical challenge. Often patients are deeply moved by these gifts of caps because many in their entire lives have never had anything that was made with love especially for them. Though knitting a cap might seem like a small thing to me, I've learned to never underestimate its effect on another person in a sad and desperate situation! Knots of Love truly deserves to be rated as an outstanding nonprofit.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In the end of 2012, I had the idea to start a volunteer group at my place of employment. At the time, I was working for a large corporation and, although I loved my work and my colleagues, I felt unfulfilled. Something was missing. I thought that if I could come up with the right “cause”, I would not only feel more satisfied at work, but could help better the lives of people in need. Because of the demanding nature of my day job, I wanted to ensure that whatever volunteer work I chose, it had to be something I enjoyed and felt passionate about. A recent connection of events pointed the way. We’d recently had several baby showers at work and as usual (and as expected), I knitted a baby sweater as a gift for the mom-to-be. Whenever my handmade gifts were opened, it always resulted in a series of “oohs and ahhs” followed by a chorus of “I wish I knew how to knit.” Lightbulb! I knew that if I could find people who needed knitted goods, I already had the interest of potential volunteers to make these knitted goods.

The internet is a wonderful place. I searched and searched for just the right organization with which to affiliate. Something struck a chord when I landed on the Knots of Love page (www.knotsoflove.org). I read that it was an organization that used volunteers to hand-knit and crochet caps for people with cancer who are experiencing traumatic hair loss. The caps are distributed free of charge to hospitals and treatment centers throughout the country. The more I read, the more I realized that Knots of Love was the perfect match for my volunteer group. Thus began my connection to Christine Fabiani, the founder of Knots of Love.

Knots of Love was started by Christine Fabiani in 2007 in a spare bedroom in her family home in Newport Beach, California. Christine learned to crochet at the age of six, taught by her grandmother. Years later, a friend of Christine’s who was herself a cancer survivor, shared how uncomfortable wigs were for her and that she wished she just had a cozy cap to wear. Christine did some research of her own and discovered that at that time there were no organizations in existence whose purpose was to provide chemo caps to those in need. Seizing on the opportunity, Christine started such an organization herself. It all started with a batch of 25 caps that were made, packaged and delivered to local cancer patients who had lost their hair. The response was so gratifying that Christine reached out to family members and friends who might be interested in also knitting or crocheting caps for the cause. The more caps that were made and distributed, the more people contacted Christine conveying their need. And the more the need grew, the more volunteers showed up asking to help. By the end of the first year, over 12,000 caps had been made and distributed. And now, after almost 12 years, Knots of Love has made and distributed more than 460,000 caps to 550 distribution locations in the United States. The organization also recently began making and distributing NICU blankets and caps to babies in need. Knots of Love’s current goal is to provide 1 million caps and blankets for free.

Reaching this goal requires a lot. When I first started interacting with the Knots of Love group, I was astounded to learn exactly what was being accomplished by Christine and her volunteers given their limited resources. They examine and tag every single cap and keep a database of the 550 cancer centers and their needs. Based on these needs, the caps are packaged and shipped. All of this is done by just a handful of loyal volunteers who help pack and ship the caps. Sometimes there are special requests by cancer patients or their families for specific cap styles or colors. All of these requests are granted as well. And then, as with any volunteer organization, there’s the money – or lack of it. Over the years, I’ve learned of the organization’s constant struggle to raise enough money for the shipping of the caps. In the recent past, there have been several occasions when it seemed Knots of Love could no longer function financially. But because of the loyalty of the network of over 1,000 volunteers across the country, funds were always somehow raised to get through another month or two. In fact, my company colleagues held several fundraisers to keep Knots of Love afloat.

People frequently ask why we don’t just buy caps and send them to the patients. The answer is simple. It just wouldn’t have the same effect. When patients know that someone cared enough to take the time to knit or crochet a cap for them, it means so much more than just being given a store-bought head covering. It means people whom they’ve never even met care about them and understand their plight and most importantly, want them to survive! Every stitch in every cap is an action of pure love. Who wouldn’t want to wear pure love on their heads at the scariest time of their lives? And this is borne out by the cards and letters that Christine receives at Knots of Love. Family members write about how the caps helped their loved ones feel less embarrassed and less secluded and that they have more self-esteem. They feel less alone and really loved. If you’ve ever known anyone with cancer (and who doesn’t), you know how important it is for them to know that people are pulling for them. I’ll never forget one of the notes that Christine shared with the Knots of Love volunteers. It was from a breast cancer patient who said that losing her hair was harder for her than losing her breast. She was beyond grateful for the chemo cap given to her. Veterans have written saying how much it means to them to know that they have not been forgotten. And these same sentiments have been echoed over and over again. Men, women, children and their families and friends have all written to Christine with their stories of tragedy and their stories of hope - all of them simply grateful for a cap.

As a side note, my work with the Knots of Love organization and Christine Fabiani had quite an unexpected additional personal benefit. Throughout my interactions with my colleagues, I was regularly asked how I learned to knit and crochet. I was fortunate enough to have learned to crochet from my 6th grade teacher, Miss Klaus. She taught my entire class how to crochet as an afterschool activity. This was over 44 years ago! We were her first class in her entire teaching career. I thought it important that she know just how far-reaching her act of kindness went. And through the magic of the internet, I found her. That was the first miracle. The second miracle was that she actually remembered me. I shared my Knots of Love story with Miss Klaus and, well, to say she was thrilled is an understatement. I explained how my colleagues had rallied in support of Christine Fabiani’s Knots of Love organization. Miss Klaus shared with me that she always felt her first class did not benefit enough from her teaching because we were her first. But I reassured her that it was one of her greatest achievements because she touched more lives than she will ever know. The stars aligned for me, Miss Klaus and Christine Fabiani.

I retired from my company two years ago, but I still return regularly to lead the volunteer group I started. Only a few of these volunteers knew initially how to knit or crochet, but those who knew how taught those who didn’t and those who learned became the teachers, and so on. None of this would ever have been possible without Christine Fabiani’s passion to help others.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization excels in every possible. I have been a knitter for the organization for several years. Christine, the founder and chief hard worker, is extremely dedicated to making sure that chemo patients, NICU babies, veterans, etc are supplied free a cap or blanket made with love. Every time I donate my knitted pieces I get a personal call from Christine telling me where my work is going. I can't heap enough praise on this organization. It truly is one of the finest.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Knots of Love is an incredible charity that does amazing work for people with cancer and babies in the NICU. It's an honor to support such a wonderful organization!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A few years ago I was looking for a charity that provided handmade caps for chemo patients. I had recently started to loom knit and wanted to give back to others. I found Knots of Love through a Google search and have been making hats for them since 2015. I live in Pennsylvania, yet feel that I am part of the organization through emails and Facebook. But mostly because Christine personally calls every person after receiving their donation. Her passion is truly contagious and inspiring. Although located in southern California, Knots of Love sends hats to hospital and treatment centers throughout the US for the benefit of many. I am proud to be a Knots of Love volunteer.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Knots of Love helps us support and keep our patients comfortable during treatments and at home. We appreciate the variety of styles and colors helps us give people choices and makes them feel in charge of their cancer.

1 Diana Lynne F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Knots of Love is a wonderful non-profit org. All is provided for you: crochet and knitting patterns; submission forms you fill out to send with your donations; a preferred yarn list; etc. Items needed are chemo caps for those who have gone through chemo treatments and lost hair, and NICU Baby Blankets. All donors ship items to Knots of Love and then they are shipped out across the country. It's wonderful to use your talents to help others, and to let them know that even though you've never met each other, you care about them!

1 Penny Starks O.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been crocheting beanies and NICU blankets for Knots of Love for a couple of years now, I always receive a gracious acknowledgement and informative response, where the beanies were sent across the country. It just warms my heart.

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2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

About a year ago I had made crocheted hat for all my family for Christmas about 30 hats total. I so enjoyed making them I continued making more hats all different sizes and patterns. I ended up with about 130 hats and wanted to donate to somewhere meaningful at least to me and couldn’t quite find the right place, so the hats sat in a bag for about a year. Then I came across Knots of Love and I felt they were just what I was looking for so I boxed all the hats up and sent them off. Within a few days I got a phone call thanking me for the hats and then Christine starting reading off all Children centers, Veteran centers and Adult care centers all across the country that she would be sending my hats, I was overwhelmed and filled with joy. This was exactly the type of place and people I was looking for!! I have even started crocheting hats for the Veterans Campaign they are having from 9/11-11/11.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Cancer Navigators appreciates Knots of Love. We work with primarily a low income population of cancer patients. They come into our office, sad, tearful and overwhelmed with the stress of their diagnosis. The hats we can offer them light up their eyes and give them hope. Just the understanding that women all over the country have sent these cute hats to help them get through this difficult time, causes a shift in their thinking and emotions. It is beautiful to see.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For over Knots of Love has been providing free handknit beanies, NICU blankets, PICC covers, and lap blankets for hospital and cancer center patients. For patients and families dealing with serious illnesses, these handmade gifts offer comfort and hope. As I knitter, I enjoy the creativity of making these caps and knowing that my creativity and work will benefit someone.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have crocheted blankets for premature babies in neonatal units for the Knots of Love organization for several years now.
This organization is so caring and helps so many cancer patients with caps as well as the blankets for babies.
After I send my contributions they immediately send me a warm thank you and a note telling where my blankets were sent. This makes me feel so appreciated that I can’t wait to get started on more blankets!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a great charity that I am proud to be a member. Christine Fabiani calls us "family". this has been a great opportunity to give back. My granddaughter had leukemia at the age of four. Someone made her a cap after she lost her hair and now, I have the opportunity to knit caps for other people that have lost their hair. It is a great opportunity to hone my knitting skills while feeling so good about helping others. Christine always calls and lets you know where your cap went. We also knit NICU blankets; for Veterans, arm and leg sleeves for amputated limbs and picc line covers. Knitting a cap not only keeps the chemo patient warm and feeling beautiful; but it is like a big hug letting them know that someone cares about them. This is a great organization of which I am very proud to belong.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been crocheting caps for Knots of Love for 10 years. I have made over 2000 hats and NICU blankets. It's a wonderful way to give back to those in need. When I read thank-you notes ,I want to crochet faster. I love to volunteer at the Orange County Fair and Veterans events. It gives me such pleasure to hear how we have touched someone in their time of need.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful group of caring people who are helping to give comfort to cancer patient one hat at a time. Christine has an infectious personality and is so upbeat every time you talk to her. Joining as a volunteer has given me a purpose and a way to help cancer patients, especially for those who have influenced my life. Keep up the wonderful work Knotts of Love!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I remember walking into my oncologist’s office, feeling vulnerable as cancer patients do with all the unknowns of what was to come. Losing my hair, knowing I’d be completely bald. There in a basket on the table were handmade crocheted beanies made just for cancer patients made by the loving volunteers of Knots of Love. There were many vibrant colors to choose from. I felt touched by others taking their time for people like us who needed their spirits lifted during such a difficult time. At the treatment center there were beanies to choose from as well. I felt thankful to have a loving beanie to keep my head warm, knowing it was made with a thoughtful mind and a giving heart. They touch many lives, especially children too with knitted blankets for babies as well and beanies to keep childrens’ heads warm. Thank you Knots of Love, for all you do for us.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I’ve been creating items for Knit of Love for about 4 years now. I know they are contributing chemo hats all over the U.S. although I create baby blankets for NICU patients as my contribution. They have never failed to call me and let me know what states my blankets have gone to. Christine and her helpers are tireless, dedicated and wonderful people! I hope to continue to contribute for a long time.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I crochet hats for Knots of Love, a charity that is beneficial to those that donate as well as the many cancer patients that receive the donations. Knots of Love helps those of us that love to knit and crochet by providing the means to donate our creations to the many cancer centers across the country. We not only get enjoyment from our hobby, we have the opportunity to use our talents to help others going through difficult times. Our hats give the cancer patients warmth and style to help them when they suffer from hair loss. I love this charity, as it has helped provide me with a purpose in my retirement years. Knowing many people undergoing cancer therapy that have lost their hair, I also know how helpful the hats are to them. A hat from Knots of Love can brighten their day.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have crocheted hats for Knots of Love for several years. This organization does amazing things by utilizing volunteers to knit and crochet hats for cancer patients all over the country. Knots of Love helps warm the heads of those that have lost their hair through chemo treatments, and also helps the numerous volunteers that love to knit and crochet to give them a true purpose for their creations. Knots of Love is extremely well organized, keeping track of where each of their thousands of creations are sent each week. I am honored to help out with Knots of Love.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is the most amazing organization which I can say from experience, as a contributor and caregiver.
I have donated several caps to KnotsofLove. But the most touching part for me was seeing firsthand what these caps mean to patients. My husband was going through cancer treatment in Rochester, NY at Wilmot Cancer Center. A basket of donated caps from KnotsofLove was on the counter for patients to choose from. To see people who were up against so much, express such joy and delight over something so simple...truly touched my heart. This organization and it's leader, Christine Fabiani, deserve so much credit and recognition for all it does for so many.

2 Chris R.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Because my hair grows very quickly I have been donating it to Locks of Love, for many years. My daughter who knows this came to me one day with a pamphlet she got at her county fair. It was for Knots of Love. Laughing she said she thought I could try helping out knitting caps with some of my yarn stash. I thought she's right, even I couldn't grow enough hair for everyone, but I can knit a lot. Since then a few people who have seen me knitting, ask what am I doing. After a short explanation, more than one has said I have a friend (relative) who has one of your caps. Even though I'm sure it isn't exactly one I knitted, it makes me feel good to know that people are using and liking the products of Knots of Love.