Many knitters for the past couple of years have contributed knit scarves to the Scarves for Special Olympics project, which had knitters and crocheters making scarves for participants in the state-level winter games. But the program has been discontinued, with the stated reason being it’s become too popular.
A statement posted on the Red Heart website (the company sponsored the project and produced the yarns that were supposed to be used for the scarves) said in part:
The program became so popular that donations outpaced the number of Special Olympics winter athletes and supporters. It was as important to us, as we know it was to you, that each and every scarf made it into the hands of the intended recipient – an athlete or supporter – something we cannot ensure going forward, due to the high volume of excess scarves. Special Olympics will distribute the extra scarves received in 2012 during the 2013 winter games season.
I’m sure this is a disappointment both to the knitters and to the athletes, who I’m sure loved to receive the scarves. Of course it doesn’t mean that individuals, or even the individual states, couldn’t decide to continue the tradition without the backing of Red Heart. In fact, that’s how the whole thing started. It was one state, Idaho, back in 2009 that decided it wanted to honor Special Olympians with scarves, and the project snowballed from there.
I don’t think knitters would have protested if the excess scarves had been, say, given to homeless people in the various states, or auctioned or sold to benefit Special Olympics. It’s a shame to see such a fun project halted because of its success.
Did you ever knit for this project? I’d love it if you’d spill your thoughts on its end.
By Sarah White