The Dove Fund

The DOVE Fund and their Bandage Brigade

The-Dove-FundOn January 12, 2000 a group of Vietnam Veterans started The Dove Fund .  In its short history it has built 44 schools, 11 daycare centers, 3 medical clinics, and 5 mayor water projects among many other ongoing projects.

I have been moved by one particular service that is provided by these dear folks and their volunteers. They provide bandages to the lepers of Vietnam. Since 2008 their Bandage Brigade has delivered over 12,000 bandages. These are handmade by volunteers from around the globe.

I was amazed that in this century there were still people suffering from this horrific disease. I wanted to help and ask others to do the same.

All Images Credit: [ The Dove Fund ]

Why Handmade Leprosy Bandages

Leprosy-BandagesAccording to the folks on the ground in the colony for The Dove Fund, the handmade bandages breath better, can be washed, sterilized and reused. The bandages are not only used for sores but also for stumps. Gauze would wear out to quickly.

One more very important factor about making these bandages, the recipients know that it takes a lot of time to make one and so they feel that someone cares. A message rarely given to them.

 How to Make the Leprosy Bandages

Leprosy Bandages


Below are the supplies and patterns for crochet, knitting and looming the bandages.  Feel free to experiment with any of these to see if you have a better process.

My understanding is that the crochet and knitting patterns have been more than tested by the Brigade and they will testify to the accuracy of the patterns.

The loom knitting pattern has only been tried once and not the complete length so if you complete the bandage PLEASE come back to this page and share your feedback, comments, and suggestions. Me, Dove Fund and the recipients will so appreciate it.

Note that they do have some specific requirements for the bandages. I have listed these below.


Supplies Needed:

Leprosy BandageThreadThe Exact Yarn (Thread) in Specific Colors:

There are specifications for the materials used to make the bandages to avoid irritation.  Remember that open wounds are being covered. They ask that the thread be  No. 10 knit Cro-sheen, 100% mercerized cotton or polyester in white, cream or ecru.  No dyes please.

Suggested Brands are:  South Maid D54, DMC Traditions, Aunt Lydia’s Classic Crochet Thread, Cro Sheen and JP Coats

This yarn is sometimes called the “bedspread cotton”


The Needles: Crochet and Knitting
Knitting Needlescrochet needles Use size 2 (2.75 mm = UK 12) knitting needles if you knit loosely
Use size 3 (3.25 mm = UK 10) needles if you knit tightly.

Use size D (3.00 mm = UK 11)
Use size E (3.50 mm = UK 9) crochet hook (loose tension desirable)


Knit Pattern:
Cast on 24 to 28 stitches so the bandage measures about 4″ across.
Knit every row until bandage is desired length of 48 inches long, and then bind off.
PLEASE DON’T FORGET: Secure thread end by slipping thread through last stitch, tying a double knot, and weaving end back through stitches. A sewing needle works well to do this.

Crochet Pattern:
Chain enough stitches to measure about 4″ in width.
Row 1: Single crochet into each chain. Chain 1 and turn.
Row 2: Single crochet into each sc across row. Ch 1 and turn. Continue to single crochet to end, chain 1 and turn. Repeat row 2 until bandage measures 48 inches long

PLEASE DON’T FORGET: Secure thread end by slipping thread through last stitch, tying a double knot, and weaving end back through stitches. A sewing needle works well to do this

Loom Knit Supplies and Pattern:
KB EFG Sock Loom Raffle
Supplies for Loom Knitting
Loom: The KB Sock Loom EFG (Extra Fine Gauge) Do not get it confused with the Sock Loom 2.The EFG sock loom is the ONLY loom that works for this. To Purchase the Loom : Click Here
The Hook: You will need the KB Loom Hook instead of the one included with the Loom: Click Here
Yarn:  2 Rolls/Skeins of Aunt Lydia’s Classic Crochet Thread 10
Technique: Knit with two strands as one : Click Here
Pattern: Cast on 24 pegs. e-Wrap knit until the bandage is the desired length of 48 inches long, then bind off.

 PLEASE DON’T FORGET: Secure thread end by slipping thread through last stitch, tying a double knot, and weaving end back through stitches. A sewing needle works well to do this

To Complete the Project: 
AFTER you have woven the ends back into the stitches, wash the bandages, roll them and secure with a large safety pin.  Put in plastic bag (several to a bag), remove air, and seal.

Send Your Bandages to:
Linda Stocker
The Dove Fund Bandage Brigade
171 Mulkey Lane, Arial, WA 98603


or in Ohio

Roland Southard
115 East Back Bay Road
Bowling Green, OH 43402

 From the Bandage Brigade Blog
Perhaps Therese of Estero, Fla., said it best when she wrote, “It’s a blessing to be able to help God’s special children in this way. We can’t heal their wounds but we can dress them with our love and concern. When I crochet these bandages I feel like I have mean­ing to my life again. I pray for each person that is given one of my bandages.”


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Comments: 15

  1. Connie September 21, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Thanks for all your help I sure did need it.

    • Denise Canela September 22, 2015 at 6:42 am

      You’re welcome, glad I could help.

  2. Emma Dalrymple January 4, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Can cotton crochet yarn be used at all? I have cotton crochet yarn in white and ecru that I want to use up.

    • Denise Canela January 5, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      Emma , thanks for your interest in helping this awesome but I’m not the contact person – would be best to contact Linda Stocker. Her email is :

  3. Linda Jones October 12, 2014 at 2:07 am

    Denise, I see where my question is answered above. Will follow the information. Thank you!

  4. Linda Jones October 12, 2014 at 2:05 am

    Denise, do they do this every year at this time? Or more than once a year? I have the old leprosy bandage loom plus several efg looms. Time is short to make a good contibution. But I could start for the next shipment soon.

  5. Geri October 11, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Thanks D.enise. it was ebay that had (has) looms and amazon that has the hooks, If not this year, i now know .i will do this for next year. Thanks for reminders. Geri

  6. Lee October 10, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Hi, Are they still in need of bandages? Do they always need them? I am a newbie but I would love to help. Please let me know and I can make some and send them. Thank you.

    • Denise Canela October 10, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      Hi Lee, Thanks so much for your offer to help. Yes the still need them. The deadline for this year is 11/15 but you can send them anytime. Here is a link to there latest email submission to volunteers : Click HERE

  7. Patricia Johnson October 10, 2014 at 2:21 am

    When crocheting or Knitting these bandages do we use double strands of yarn or is it single strand? Please get back to me via email as soon as you can so I can get started on working on some bandages. Also do you have a pattern for stump covers and what type of cotton thread or yarn should be used. I also was thinking about all the unused walkers and crutches that we have going to waste here in America. Is there a way that these unused items could be used to help these people? I know it gets muddy there and was just wondering as I have some here that I do not need and thought they could help the lepers of the world.

    • Denise Canela October 10, 2014 at 8:36 am

      Patricia – the two strands is ONLY for loom knitting. I don’t have any patterns for the Dove Fund other then the loom knit bandages. But you can contact Linda Stocker, the Fund Trustee with all your questions: She is a lovely lady and will answer ALL your questions.
      Hope that helps,

  8. Susan Craig June 14, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Thank you for giving people the chance to do something for others via some cherished handcrafts.

    • Denise Canela June 15, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      Happy to do it. The Dove Fund is AWESOME

  9. Joan Hess November 7, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    I am newly retired and love to crochet and knit and found that I now have the time. Would like to do both for a worthy cause. Are you still sending bandages for leprosy? I would be so very happy to add to the cause. I would appreciate any information you can give me.

    • Denise Canela November 12, 2013 at 11:23 pm

      Sorry for the delay in responding Joan.. YES – they’re still collecting bandages. Here is the information
      The D.O.V.E. Fund Bandage Brigade
      Roland Southard
      115 East Back Bay Road
      Bowling Green, OH 4340

      If you wish to contact Roland you may do so at or (419)823-6897

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