On Valentine's Day, every student at my middle two children's school were given one of the dolls we had been sewing this past month. No, these weren't party favors; they were opportunities for altruism. The students began their Valentine's Day party with a doll and a bag of batting. Then, volunteers taught them how to properly stuff their doll's arms, legs, head, and body after explaining to them who the dolls are for: patients at Texas Children's Hospital.
If you didn't see my post last week on this doll project, you can visit it here, but here's a quick recap too. Every year, as part of our school's Valentine's Day party, we give the students a service project to participate in. Last year, we made close to one thousand blankets for Project Linus. This year, our goal was to make over 900 dolls for Texas Children's Hospital. Dozens of volunteers donated countless hours of their time, tracing and cutting fabric, sewing and turning dolls, and even bagging up stuffing in preparation for this project. I volunteered to sew and turn 75 dolls. Now that the children had stuffed the dolls and decorated gift tags, it was time to sew the dolls closed before delivering them to the hospital.
I accepted 100 dolls to complete at home. Basically, this portion of the project is mainly rather easy, but it also involves inspecting the dolls and repairing any. First, we check for any holes in the seams and have to sew those closed. Next, if a doll isn't properly stuffed, we shift around the batting to its arms and legs until it looks good. Then we can sew it up. That's the easy part. We set our machines to a zig-zag stitch, back stitch at the beginning and end, and sew closed the dolls' sides.
Once the dolls were finished, they were given to another volunteer who tied on the cute note from the students. I thoroughly enjoyed this service project because my heart aches for the families and patients who are dealing with terrible and often life-threatening illnesses, but I also love that our students are learning the value of serving others.
If you would like to participate in a similar project, I suggest contacting your own local children's hospital or emailing me.
I'll be sharing this post at some of these parties here.