We’ve gotten through the first rush of back-to-school days. We’re planning Halloween costumes and treats. Summer is truly over and colder temperatures are on their way.

Diana Gonzalez – artist, writer, and “crafty mom” – is planning a dinosaur costume and pulling out winter clothing, but her thoughts are also on the many New Yorkers who will fend off the cold weather from inside shelters or on the city streets.

In November 2008 more than 36,600 homeless men, women, and children spent each night in New York City municipal shelters. Thousands more sleep on city streets, in public parks, in the subway system, and in other public spaces. (Data Source: Coalition for the Homeless)

In November 2008 more than 36,600 homeless men, women, and children spent each night in New York City municipal shelters. Thousands more sleep on city streets, in public parks, in the subway system, and in other public spaces. (Data Source: Coalition for the Homeless)

“I wanted to do something that I could really do. I knit and crochet…Unfortunately, there are not very many craft centered volunteer projects around the New York City area.”

Diana has previous experience self-starting local crafts groups. She currently runs the NYC Craft Circle and the Brooklyn Creative Moms Group, both of which she started from home with the help of meetup.com. So when she couldn’t find a volunteer project that fit her interests, the self-described “craftaholic” decided to start her own. She’s named it Scarves for the Homeless. As the title implies, Diana is knitting and crocheting scarves for homeless New Yorkers. She is also accepting donated scarves. She plans to distribute the scarves on Christmas Day.

Diana hopes to get others involved in her project, but for those living outside the New York City area, she is posting updates, pictures, and video clips on her blog. She hopes to set an example of a “true artist”: “I think that being a true artist is more of a mentality, really. It’s about free thinking, and realizing there is more in the world than just yourself. Being an artist is not just someone who paints pretty pictures but someone who leaves a mark by who they are – like Frida Kahlo.”

“Craftaholic” Diana Gonzalez is knitting and crocheting scarves for homeless New Yorkers.

“Craftaholic” Diana Gonzalez is knitting and crocheting scarves for homeless New Yorkers.

Asked for any insights on volunteering, Diana replied, “I think giving back is a personal thing. We all have something we can give back, besides just money. Money is nice, but actions speak louder.”

Diana’s blog can be found here: http://confessionsofacraftaholic.blogspot.com/

You can also look up Diana on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheCraftaholic

Diana’s Etsy shop links: http://www.sweetbuddha.etsy.com and  http://www.sweetbuddhaknits.etsy.com

Coalition for the Homeless: http://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/

Photo of homeless person copyright Michal Rachlin; Photo of Diana copyright Diana Gonzalez

Know a great volunteer or volunteer organization? Leave me a comment or email me through this link to let me know!