During the winter months in Michigan when gardening is not an option, I can be a bit of a knit-wit. I also like to crochet.

The other day a friend shared a story from 2011 of a campaign, after an oil spill near New Zeeland, to knit adorable little sweaters for penguins. The sweaters kept the penguins from preening the deadly slime from their feathers until the birds could be washed by cleanup crews.

His sharing of that charitable act of knitting reminded me of another. It is knitting (or crocheting) sweaters for kids started years ago through Guideposts and is now a part of World Vision. I've loved doing this and may just start knitting for them again this year. The patterns are super simple and can be enhanced by an advanced crafter...like this pattern from Lion Brand Yarns.

So, if you're still pondering a New Year's resolution—one that doesn't involve modification of nutritional intake—then consider this: knit or crochet a kids sweater. If you're not a needle worker collaborate with someone who is and buy them yarn.

It’s a good thing (and works well for Lent too!). Remember as you stitch to pray for the little recipient of your gift. Then they’ll not only be wrapped in warmth, but also in prayer—and prayer doesn’t wash out.

For knitters, start here.

Want to crochet? Start here.

Here's their Facebook page.

There are a lot of yarn websites and local stores with free knitting/crocheting patters for charity that include more than sweaters, if sweaters aren’t your thing. Using your favorite search engine, just type in Knitting for Charity and go!

Post pictures of your sweater donations in the comments section. If you’ve done other charitable needlework, share what you made and the name of the organization.

Read more reflections and prayers by Margaret Rose Realy, Obl OSB, at Morning Rose Prayer Garden, on Patheos Catholic channel.

Copyright 2014 Margaret Rose Realy