Jeremy Pope
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#HatNotHate Is Helping Put an End to LGBTQ+ Bullying — With Knitting!

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Knitting and crocheting may seem like just a relaxing, peaceful way to relieve some stress and create something useful, but when put to good use, it can also help leave an impact on the community! That's the mission of #HatNotHate, Lion Brand Yarns' 2018-founded anti-bullying campaign, and their upcoming "Hat-A-Thon" fundraiser, a virtual, live steam event that is raising money for the It Gets Better Project to help put a stop to the bullying and harassment that so many queer youth experience. 

"At #HatNotHate and Lion Brand, our very mission statement is to create a more colorful, connected, comforting and caring world, and #HatNotHate is a campaign founded in the belief that there is no place for bullying of any kind," the organization's founder, Shira Blumenthal, said in a statement about #HatNotHate's purpose. "This is precisely why we aligned ourselves with the It Gets Better Project and have worked with them as our official charitable partner two years in a row. They spend every day uplifting, empowering, and connecting LGBTQ+ youth across the globe, helping to protect them from oppression every day. At #HatNotHate, we want to regularly support that mission in actionable ways."

"Every day of the year, a portion of proceeds from all #HatNotHate merchandise is donated directly to the efforts of the It Gets Better Project, and this Pride month, we’re upping the ante and showing our tireless support — literally," Blumenthal said about this year's virtual, live stream fundraiser, which will include participation from the likes of celebrity allies (and knitting/crochet lovers) including Vanna White and Pat Sajak of Wheel of Fortune, soap star Emme Rylan, and UFC heavyweight fighter Maurice Greene, affectionately also known as "The Crochet Boss."

"Starting June 10, for 24-hours, our first Hat-A-Thon will be uniting crafters, community members, allies, celebrities, and more to come together and raise donations for It Gets Better. There are many queer people within our #HatNotHate community who prove that it does get better, and we want to spread that message with our words and our wallets."

She continued:

"We’re excited to be hosting this live stream virtual event on our Facebook Live channel, which will not only reach our nearly 600K followers, but will also allow our viewers and participants to easily navigate to our dedicated Facebook donation page for the It Gets Better Project. We live in a widespread, diverse and intersectional world, with people of all different types. But one thing we can all agree on is that nobody wants to be bullied or oppressed for who they are. We look forward to continuing trumpet this belief alongside the It Gets Better Project...during our 24-hour Hat-A-Thon and beyond."

#HatNotHate's 24-hour live stream "Hat-A-Thon" event begins at 9am PT/12pm ET on Thursday, June 10 on Lion Brand Yarns' official Facebook page, and runs all the way through 9am PT/12pm ET on Friday, June 11! For more info, and the full schedule of the Hat-A-Thonvisit #HatNotHate's official website here!

RELATED | Male Teachers Are Wearing Skirts to School to Support Bullied Students

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