Last week I came across the Comfort Doll Project blog as I was looking for something new to sew.
According to the website...
The Comfort Doll Project is a group of artists who create and donate beautiful dolls to be delivered specifically to women in domestic abuse shelters.
The project was founded by Pat Winters, to reach out to the courageous women who have made their way to help. We want these women to know that they are not alone. The project is now run by Brenda Hutchings and all of her blog followers.
So far we have collected and donated 8,052 handdmade dolls. Dolls are donated to shelters a dozen at a time.
There is a little message to go with each doll. It says, 'I am a Comfort Doll. I was made especially for you by a woman's heart and hand who cares. When you need strength or just a smile, hold me and feel the love I send. Like me, your are unique, worthy, beautiful and deserve all good things in life. You have the strength within yourself to be extraodinary.
Find the strength and shine!'
As I sorted through scraps of fabric and felt, I thought of the women who will receive my dolls. I hope they are able to tuck them inside a purse or pocket and feel love and support at difficult moments.
I chose red thread for both dolls' eyes for a reason. The other day after a particularly difficult morning I pulled myself together and headed to the grocery store with eyes red from crying. Part of me hoped no one would notice. But another part of me would have felt so much better if someone (anyone) had noticed and offered a smile or kind word. No matter our differences in age, location, or circumstance, we all get red eyes.
If you decide to make a comfort doll (or two or three), here are some tips:
- You can find free patterns available on the Comfort Doll Project website. I choose the first one on the list, and then I printed it at 50% scale. With a scant 1/4'' seam allowance, my dolls turned out 3'' tall - just like Brenda suggests. :)
- I emailed Brenda to ask if it's okay for me to write about the Comfort Doll project on my blog. She said yes and suggested that I reach out to a local womens' shelter to give my Comfort Dolls away. Unfortunately, abuse, drug addiction, and homelessness can be found in all our communities. She said, 'It can be easy to walk with blinders on, but it's also so simple to reach up, take them off and do small kindnesses.' So true!
- If you can't find a local organization to donate your dolls to, you can mail them to Brenda at the address listed here.
Since it's so close to Christmas, I stitched up two simple drawstring bags for the dolls and their little cards to go in. I've contacted a local shelter that I want to donate them to. I'll update you here and let you know how it goes. ❤️
Do you know of any other worthy sewing projects or people who are doing great things through 'small kindnesses' involving sewing or quilting? I would love it if you emailed me about them - maybe I could share their stories here too.
Also, if you'd rather sew for furry friends, check out my post about cage comforters. :)