I am in the process of organizing a knitting/crochet ministry at my church. There are so many diferent charities to knit for, but we've decided to start by supporting ministries our church already has. (The church is quite large, with many established ministries.) Right now, we are going to support our Pro-Life ministry. They put together baskets of supplies for mom's of newborns in need. We'll be knitting baby hats, booties and blankets. If we get enough ambitious folks, they can knit blankets on their own. But I'm also going to accept 6 x 6 inch squares to make patchwork blankets in crib sizes. My idea is that, if someone is just learning, the squares are an easy first step. Then they can move on to hats, etc., as their skills progress. Also, if there's anyone out there who actually MAKES gauge swatches, it's easy enough to make them 6 x 6 and then donate them.
The head of the Pro-Life ministry suggested that baby things not be made of animal fibers because some newborns may be sensitive or allregic to them. They also asked that if at all possible, things be machine washable and dryable. Since most donated yarn is acrylic (or so far it has been), this works out well.
The other ministry we'll be supporting is our homeless outreach. We'll be knitting hats, gloves, and scarves that they can distribute.
If we get a large, productive group organized, we may knit lapghans for folks in nursing homes and/or helmet liners for the troops, but we're trying to keep the focus small until we get all of our ducks in a row.
We're putting a message in the church bulletin that there will be an "interest meeting" after one of the services. I'm going to pass out a simple form to get the names and numbers of those interested, and have them indicate how often they'd like to meet and what time and day works best for them, and we'll go from there.
So, that's how we're getting it going. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who's actually done it before. Any advice on what to expect, pitfalls to avoid, etc, would be greatly appreciated.