Monday, April 1, 2013

April 2013 Project Announcement

I can hardly sit still to type this post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited about this month's project!
While every single project has a special meaning to me in some way, this may be the most personal project, for me, we have worked on to date!

ARE YOU READY????
Really, really ready????
Grab some fabric, start up those machines, cause it's time to get sewin' & stuffin' all for a GREAT cause!!!

For April, we are going to be sewing stuffed toys for children in foster care....but let me explain more.

This April marks a very special time for our family. 
This April marks the 1 year anniversary of our youngest daughter's adoption from foster care. :) That's right, this time last year we were going through the process to make her a permanent and legal part of our family FOREVER! 
We want to celebrate this special time by remembering and sharing love and hope with children currently in foster care. 
Will you join us???

I came across this article in December and have been holding on to it trying to think of how our family could help....and obviously, came up with the idea for our April Project with it in mind. You can read the complete article here, which explains that when children placed in foster care have to attend court hearings in conjunction with their case, they are given a stuffed animal to help ease the anxiety they might be feeling.
As a foster parent, I can attest to how uncomfortable court hearings can sometimes be. Trying to imagine this experience from a child's perspective....a child currently in foster care for one reason or another.....difficult to say the least.
We would LOVE to include you in our efforts and be able to donate an overwhelming number of stuffed toys!

So here's my challenge to us all.....
:) Let's STUFF IT!!!!!!
Having a rather large family, we drive a rather large vehicle. Our van is fondly known as "the bus". I would love nothing more than to have "the bus" stuffed from top to bottom with plush friends to comfort and encourage these sweet children!
Are you with me???? Good! It's going to be GREAT! :)

PROJECT SPECIFICS:   
  • NEW items only. First, because these children deserve no less. Second, this may be the one and only personal item they have that they feel is all theirs at this time....let's make it a good one!
  • Any type of stuffed animal or doll is welcome. Please refrain from anything that could potentially be scary or offensive though. 
  • All ages included. Children in the foster care system range in age from Newborn - 18 years old, that's a broad audience to create for, so lots of possibilities. :)
  • HAVE FUN!!!! :) 
You can find all kinds of plushie inspiration, ideas and pattern/tutorial links on my Pinterest board here.
 "Plushies, Soft Toys & Pillows".
I am so super excited to get started!!!

When you have your items ready to ship, you can send to me here:
Kristy Smith
c/o Echelon Florist
7505 Northshore Drive
Knoxville TN 37919
**If you are local, Echelon has agreed to be a drop off location for donations and is additionally offering 10% off all of their stuffed toys for those who choose to purchase & donate!

I will deliver them once they have all arrived, and I'll be sure to share a pic of our stuffed BUS too! :)

In the meantime, please share the pics of your donations in our April 2013 Project Album here. This is such a great way to encourage and inspire our creative community as we work. I'll also be able to easily comment letting you know when your items have safely arrived.

I have had some INCREDIBLE support from all kinds of amazing people in the sewing community, so you can expect to see some extra special fun throughout the month too! ;)
**BONUS ADD-ONS**:
My Funny Buddy is offering 50% OFF all PDF patterns for the month of April! Use code HOPE50 at check out. See the selection in the shop here.
Aivilo Charlotte Designs is offering their Seahorse Family Stuffed Toy PDF FREE for the month of April. Download your copy here.

Sew with me!
Just imagine the SMILES alone our efforts will bring!
Let's be an unmistakable, LOUD VOICE saying just how much these children matter!

Grab the adorable little badge from the sidebar (large at top, smaller one at bottom) to add to your own blog or website showing your support, and let's sew!

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15 comments:

Adrianne at Happy Hour Projects said...

Awww!! I was half-tempted to pack my sewing machine up while we show our condo. it would only be for a couple months. but now, I don't know - do I dare? This is an adorable theme!!

Lynda said...

Kristy, this is such a great idea. I was in Joann's the other day and they had the softest fabric. Would make great toys if I wasn't so sewing challenged. I'll check out your pins to see if any are easy for me. Thanks.

Melanie @ bear rabbit bear said...

This is a great theme!!

HalfDozen said...

Love it! Toys are my thing!!!! :-)

Spunky Cowgirl said...

I want to but the only thing I know how to do with needles and thread is hem things, repair holes & seams and replace buttons. Any other way I can contribute?

Also, have you seen the plans for the Foster Parent Association to renovate the lobby and visitation rooms at DCS? Its awesome!!!

Kristy said...

@Spunky Cowgirl, you can purchase stuffed toys to donate if you don't sew. :) Thanks for your interest!

bab5313 said...

Any ideas on what to do for the older foster children, say 15+?
I had a thought of a keychain, so they could take it everywhere, but it's not like a "child's" toy, but I'm not sure what a 15-18 year old young man would feel comfortable carrying around.

Kristy said...

@bab5313, yea, that's kind of tough. There are lots of needs....duffle bags, backpacks, pillowcases, clothing....but the need we were trying to fill this month was specifically based on the request for plush toys. You might consider checking specifically with your local DCS (Department of Children's Services) as they would be able to tell you the greatest needs in your community. Thanks for you interest and love the way you are thinking! They all deserve to be recognized!

Christie said...

Aah Kristy, I don't think I can pass up the chance to sew plushies for charity!! I might have to start with that gorgeous seahorse! Congratulations to you and your daughter on your 1yr anniversary.

mamagwenm said...

Count me in! I love sewing softies so this is really awesome for me. AND, I already have 2 Black Apple Dolls that I'd started before Christmas and never got around to finishing them. Perfect excuse! :)

mamagwenm said...

Just a question, I know this project is focused on sewed toys, but would knitted or crocheted toys be also acceptable?

Kristy said...

Yes indeed! Knit and crochet stuffed toys are most welcome! Thank you! :)

JLVerde said...

LOVE this. Stuffed toys are really my favorites to make. I love that seahorse pattern (so cute!).

Could you also use some small tote bags? Maybe a bag with a doll in it? If you can use them I could make a few to include with the dolls (but if you don't need them, that's fine too).

JLVerde said...

One more question.

Are there any size requirements? I like to make smaller plush (beanie baby sized). Would those be ok?

Mara said...

Kristy I would like to make some for you, could I leave them unstuffed, to lessen the shipping cost.

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