CIC, Children in Common, is a group of parents who adopted children from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. They were so shocked at the conditions in the orphanages that they banded together to try and help the children that had to be left behind.
It's estimated there are about 700,000 children living in orphanages there. For a complete picture of all that CIC does, go to the CIC link. My affiliation with CIC is through knitting.
Winter indoor temperatures in the orphanages hover around 45 Fahrenheit (that's 7 Celsius). That's why CIC requests heavy knit sweaters, vests, socks, in at least 70% wool. I use 100% wool.
The greatest need is for wool worsted weight socks and wool bulky weight vests for the very young children. The older children are taught how to knit for themselves.
There is also a need for donated knitting needles.
The knitted items are sent to a central location (Kathy’s garage). They are then packed into suitcases and taken directly to the orphanages by couples traveling to the area to pick up a child they are adopting. This prevents the donations from being "side tracked" and sold, never making it to their intended destination.
CIC-Knit is a Yahoo group focusing on the knitting efforts to help the children. It has approximately 400 members. We share news about great yarn sales, appropriate free patterns on the internet, and motivate each other to keep knitting by having an occasional knitting challenge.