Volunteering to change the world

Volunteering From Home: DIY Knit Nests for Baby Birds & Injured Wildlife, Volunteers Earn Community Service Hours

We’re all familiar with the concept of working from home, but have you thought about the benefits of volunteering from home?  There are plenty of reasons why volunteering can sometimes be difficult despite your best intentions.  Life is busy.  You’re working long hours.  You don’t have easy access to volunteer activities in your community.  We get it, which is why we created this blog, Make a Difference From Home.  Volunteering from home is super fun and  a great way to gather family and friends together to make the world a better place.

Would you like to help orphaned baby birds and other wildlife and you know how to knit?  Then this is the perfect do-it-yourself volunteer project for you!  You can make soft, warm, knitted nests for orphaned baby birds and injured wildlife from the comfort of your own home. When orphaned/injured birds and other wildlife are brought into rescues, they need to be kept warm in a soft place, preferably in something that resembles their nests in the wild.  These DIY knitted nests are quick to make and will help orphaned and injured animals recover.  It’s true, your knitted nests will be warm and cozy, but did you know that a secure nest also helps ensure that the baby’s legs grow properly?  

Volunteer from the comfort of your own home and make a big difference by knitting nests.  Every  nest you make and donate helps save a baby animal’s life.



  • Washable yarn in any weight, earth tones preferred
  • A set of double-pointed needles.  Any size between 5 and 9 can work depending on the weight of the yarn.
  • Scissors
  • Pattern



Do you want to support charity in another way too please?  You can purchase our adorable Volunteer Kit and get all your supplies for this project from our Etsy store, Kindness Market here.



  • Acrylic or cotton yarn works best and is inexpensive.
  • The yarn MUST be washable please.
  • To prevent tiny legs and feet from getting caught in the nest, avoid using fuzzy yarn.
  • Please be sure that the nest is knitted tightly.  Using two or three strands of yarn knitted together will help the nest maintain its form and ensure a tight knit.
  • Earth-tone colored yarn to resemble the color of natural nests is preferred but any color works.
  • There is a need for all sizes of nests.  Cast on more stitches for larger nests and fewer stitches for smaller nests.


Make a Difference From Home


These nests are easy to make and all sizes of nests are needed.  There are plenty of nest crochet patterns online.  Choose one that works best for you or you can follow our pattern instructions below.  The key is to make the stitches as tight as possible so that the claws and nails of the babies don’t get caught in the finished nest.  Pattern courtesy of Dane County Humane Society’s Wildlife Center for nests measuring approximately 4 inches in diameter.

    1. Using 2 or 3 strands of yarn, cast on 54 stitches.  Divide evenly on 4 double-pointed needles.
    2. Join ends in the round and work in stockinette (knit every round) until the nest is approximately 3 inches tall.
    3. Purl one row.  This row is very important to separate the sides from the bottom of the nest and to make the nest stable enough to stand up when a baby is placed inside.
    4. Row 1) knit 7 (K7), knit 2 together (K2tog), repeat to the end.
    5. Row 2) K6, K2tog, repeat to the end.
    6. Row 3) K5, K2tog, repeat to the end.
    7. Row 4) K4, K2tog, repeat to the end.
    8. Row 5) K3, K2tog, repeat to the end.
    9. Row 6) K2, K2tog, repeat to the end.
    10. Row 7) K1, K2tog, repeat to the end.
    11. Leave a 6-inch tail and cut yarn.  Slide yarn on needle, pass though hoops and draw tight to close end.





Are you a student looking for a project that allows you to earn community service hours while volunteering from home?  Look no further!  Make a Difference From Home, presented by Small Acts Big Change, will happily certify your volunteer hours for school, youth organizations, and more!  

Every handmade nest measuring in diameter 5 inches or larger earns two (2) hours of volunteer service credit hours with Small Acts Big Change.  The nests must be sent to us at Small acts Big Change, PO Box 1474, La Canada, CA 91012 so that we can verify your volunteer work.  Any questions?  Please email us at [email protected].



Contact your local wildlife rescue organizations to see if they have a need for your nests.  You can also mail your nests to the following nonprofit organizations who need nests immediately:

In the United States:

  • Dane County Humane Society’s Wildlife Center, 5132 Voges Rd., Madison, WI 53718
  • Carolina Waterfowl Rescue Group, PO Box 1484, Indian Trail, NC 28079
  • Small Acts Big Change, PO Box 1374, La Canada, CA 91012
  • Wild Wishlist, PO Box 1211, Skylar, NC 28776

In Australia:

  • Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, c/o Lee Pirini, Locked Bag 3000, Archerfield BH 4108, Queensland Australia    



We’d love to see a  picture of your “Crochet for a Cause” scarf .  Please feel free to share pictures at https://www.facebook.com/smallactsbigchangeus.



If you would like to learn about more DIY volunteer from home projects like these, please subscribe to this page, Make a Difference From Home.  

This blog is hosted by Small Acts Big Change, a nonprofit organization helping people volunteer to change the world through kindness and service. 



Would you like to bring this project or another from Make a Difference From Home to a group you are involved with while still practicing social distancing? Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, schools, businesses or other groups, please contact Carolyn  at [email protected] for more information.



Thank you for making a difference from home! <3 

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Small Acts Big Change presents Make a Difference From Home. This blog is filled with fun DIY do-good projects to help people of all ages volunteer from the comfort of their own homes. Students can earn service hours on many of our projects. Thanks for making a difference!