Last December I made my annual trip to bring Christmas to orphans in Haiti. I was inspired by a young lady I met, SophiaPierre, to find a way to make and bring Poupee’s (baby dolls) for our trip this year. In fact, I wrote a blog about it, “Are You Thinking BIG?” which many of you commented about, enjoying both its sentimental appeal and the example of how to think BIG when it comes to setting goals. This blog is essentially an update, to show you the progress we have made and ask if you want to be a bigger part of the journey.
We now have designed the dolls. I asked a creative friend from my Hallmark days who is an excellent seamstress and product designer to create a soft, cuddly doll (these girls don’t have pillows or other huggable toys to comfort them) with lots of personality and some play factor (the dress is reversible so they can play dress up!). I found a new friend who coordinates quilting groups to recruit her seamstresses to sew the dresses. We decided to go with an established sewing group rather than creating new ones to get the concept off the ground on the advice of experienced mentors such as the great people at GO Project.
Next, we are asking for sponsors to pay for a doll to be made–the materials and the time. Many of my Facebook friends have been willing to send their hugs across the miles in the form of a cute doll with a BIG heart. We have placed a fabric heart on the doll’s chest and it will carry the name of the person who cared enough to ensure that doll was made and gifted to the recipient–like a long distance hug! It personalizes the experience and carries the message that the doll isn’t just a toy but a love project and there are many people the orphan hasn’t met that loves them!
We have sponsors for about 2/3 of the dolls and are moving into the sewing phase. We will ask our local magazine to help us capture the process, the team work, and the end result; essentially to show what love can do! We will take lots of pictures when the dolls are delivered so that we can celebrate the result together when I get back to the States–and I will share them with you!
After we get 100 dolls made, shipped and distributed, the question will be, “Now what?”. The pattern will exist and we will have proved the concept. It will be much easier to take the project to the next level. There are many little girls across the nation and all over the world that will benefit from getting their own doll. We expect there are still women in need of earning a living that would like to be taught how to make these dolls–domestically and abroad. And we know there are many more people who would like to “hug” a child across the miles. We aren’t sure how we are going to do all of those things, we just know we will.
If you want to be a part of this journey, it is easy! Send a check for $30/doll to me, Margaret Reynolds, at 636 NE Shoreline Drive, Lee’s Summit, MO. 64064. Tell me whose name you would like on the heart of your doll. We will send you a receipt and we will get a doll made in your name. If you can help with any of our other tasks let me know that too. We are building a community and we know it will have a broad reach. We would love to have you join us!