Husband, wife and son

husband, wife and son



December 31, 2018

Dedicated Caring Crafters Use their Talents to Raise Funds and Awareness for Veterans in Need, Keeping Them Safe in Their Homes

Group uses their talents to create crafts that benefit Veterans in need

One of the “Caring Crafers” sorting through donated yarn for creating crafts that make a difference for people in need in the community.


Literally thousands of our Wisconsin veterans are forced to choose between eating or heating each and every day. A group of women in Watertown, Wisconsin, are using their ability to knit and sew and are putting their talents to use to make a big difference in those veterans lives.

The Caring Crafters are a group of over 60 individuals who meet every Tuesday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Watertown Community Center and make handmade items for various charities including scarves, hats, mittens, lap robes, prayer shawls, and much more. Watertown is located in southeastern Wisconsin, approximately midway between Madison and Milwaukee.

“We are a group of ladies who were looking to help out our community and to help out locally. Everyone is different: we have knitters, we have crocheters, we have people who sew. The group started almost 8 years ago now. We’ve been around for a little while now,” says Leslie Krueger.

While Caring Crafters started with just a few people, they are now up to 60 members. They now make things for 7 different charities. Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund (KWW/CF) and Heat and Housing for Heroes is the only group that they sell things for. “We do chemo hats, prayer shawls, hats, gloves and mittens for all ages,” Krueger says. “We do so many different things. Most of our yarn is donated to us. We make whatever we can with whatever we have.“

The Caring Crafters group is open to everyone and is always a great opportunity for fellowship and pattern sharing.

“Every year, we look at what we have going on and who we are supporting and if their needs change we try to grow with them,” Krueger says. “We pick up charities here and there. If everybody works on something different, sometimes you get a ton of hats and not much else. But it all depends on what people decide to make.”

In fall of 2016, one of the Caring Crafters members discovered Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund and Heat and Housing Heroes in an ad on TV. “We had been working with the Wounded Warrior Project prior to that but we weren’t happy because the money wasn’t staying in state and we couldn’t see any results from what we are doing. It was going somewhere else,” Krueger remembers.

“When she found out that Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund was local, the previous leader of the group decided it would be a good fit,” Krueger adds. “We’re very happy with the money staying here in state and we have a lot of people in the group who have a veteran connection including a few people in the group who are veterans. Everyone is more than happy to help out with Heat for Heroes.”

Caring Crafters have not only contributed a significant amount of dollars to Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund but they have also raised so much public awareness for Heat and Housing for Heroes.

“I think it’s hilarious how much we raise for Heat for Heroes off dishcloths and nylon netting scrubbies. It blows my mind,” Krueger laughs. “I swear everybody here in Watertown has at least five of our washcloths.”

Anyone who knows how to knit, crochet, or loom are welcome to join Caring Crafters who make dishcloths and scrubbies and sell them and then send KWWCF/Heat and Housing for Heroes the money. They’ve put together 70-90 quilts for KWWCF/Heat and Housing for Heroes.

“They’ve donated those to us and the vast majority will go to veterans and high-risk people with respiratory issues,” says Energy Services Executive Director and Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund and Heat and Housing for Heroes Founder Tim Bruer. “We’re in the process right now of identifying those most at risk with respiratory problems.” As Caring Crafters continue to knit and crochet away for various charities, they are really committed to the Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund and particularly the Heat and Housing for Heroes initiative.

“We love our partnership with Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund. We love when they come in and spend time with us. And we were more than happy when they brought the Schoep’s ice cream,” Krueger says. One thing they can always use is more yarn. If anybody happens to have some yarn that is gathering dust and would like to find a purpose for, I am sure that Caring Crafters will find a great home and need for it!

While the survival of literally thousands of Wisconsinites depends on the generosity of others, we cannot express our appreciation enough to Caring Crafters for their tireless hard work. In every one of their items you can see and feel how much of themselves they put into their craft.

They are probably the largest group of caring unsung heroes that have done so much for so many without asking for any recognition in return. Truthfully, our team for Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund and Heat and Housing for Heroes initiative absolutely enjoy connecting with them personally throughout the year. The 60+ active members are just simply beyond awesome.

About the author:
Post tags:Crafters