A Doll Like Me
In my life pre-children, I was a social worker in a pediatric oncology unit. In my time working with the kids, I used dolls in play therapy to help the children express themselves. Dolls are therapeutic in so many ways - ways that I'm not sure we fully understand. It is a human likeness and by extension, a representation of the child who loves it.
One day I realized that the dolls’ thick hair and perfect health were doing the kids I was working with a disservice as they were often faced with a wide variety of physical challenges. Many kids have never have had the opportunity to see their sweet faces reflected in a doll. It's hard to tell a child that they are beautiful but follow it with - but you'll never see yourself in anything that looks like you.
About four years ago, I was making non-traditional Raggedy Ann dolls. My favorite was a Raggedy Ann for a little girl who was transitioning - green cropped hair and a Ninja Turtle outfit! A friend of a friend saw it and shared him. A woman whose daughter had just had a leg amputated reached out and asked if I could make a doll for her. It was like lightning in a jar. In the past four years, I’ve personally made over 300 dolls and there are a lot of people still on the waitlist. This is where you come in!
Typically, parents or caregivers pay for the dolls - about $100 with shipping per doll. When they can’t afford it, I’ll find a way to cover it myself. Whatever it costs, whatever I have to do, I’m going to get a doll in the hands of these children. This isn’t just a business. It’s the right thing to do.
Doll-making has allowed me to combine my love of dolls with my passion for social work. I have always been disappointed in the lack of diversity in dolls. So, as my mom taught me, if you don't like it, do something about it!
I have partnered with a children's hospital to identify kids who might benefit from having a doll for comfort as they go through their medical care. The money raised here will help me do that. Funds raised will be used to pay for materials and shipping to cover the cost of dolls for those who can’t afford it. Any remaining funds will be used towards turning A Doll Like Me into an official non-profit organization.
Ultimately, I don’t want any parent to have to pay for something that’s so important. If we’re going to look at mental health as a necessary part of medical care, this is key. If you want validation and play therapy, you need these dolls. My ultimate goal is to fulfill every doll order that comes in and not have the families have to pay for it.
I appreciate you reading the story of A Doll Like Me, and I wish you fulfillment in your life no matter what the challenge.
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They are making it possible for a family to take this doll all the way to Columbia where she will find her way into the arms of a little girl, who is meeting her forever family for the first time! They lighten the financial load and are a tangible way for strangers to show families like this no-strings-attached kindness.
For that I am grateful!
I am THRILLED to announce that I have been selected as GoFundMe's Hero of December. It is an honor to be recognized for what is my labor of love AND it is awesome that other people believe in the power of representation. On the one side, dolls are validating for the little people they reflect and on the other side, dolls are a tangible way to share kindness and demonstrate acceptance. These children are perfect just the way they are!
A sincere thank you to GoFundMe for their incredible support and to all of you for believing in the magic of dolls. I am humbled and grateful and excited to keep sewing - so that kids can look into the sweet face of a doll and see their own!
You can read the full GoFundMe Hero story here: https://www.gofundme.com/cause/gofundme-heroes
I have said many times that we do such a disservice to children when it comes to dolls. There are millions of children who will never walk into a toy store and see themselves in the sweet face of a doll. It’s no accident that dolls are so integral in play therapy...they are human representations! So shouldn’t all children be able to experience the amazing feeling of having a doll like them? If you’ve ever emailed me I tell you two things...okay, three
Hi Amy. First, I want to thank you for putting your time & money, and heart, into making all of these! I can’t imagine how many children out there would love, & benefit from these dolls! Second, I wanted to know if I am misunderstanding something you wrote in the original story, regarding the “little girl who was transitioning”. I consider this to mean that this little girl, whether it be by name, how she would dress, or (god forbid) surgery., is actually going through some type of a sex change to become a little boy? Is this correct? You obviously have no obligation to respond, but I’d definitely appreciate it if you did. Thanks!
Pls help us to raise fund for my gf .. she is suffering from lgmd limbe girdle mascular dystrophy .. may be next yr gene therapy will be the cure for all mascular dytrophies ... we don' t have much money to go for it .. I can send u all the reports bt pls help us .. my name is mayank sharma from india my gf name is rama sharma she lives in dehradun uttrakhand my paypal link is Paypal.me/rahulecom1996 Pls help us pls
please help me with my go fund me also please
Have you done a type 1 diabetic?
Please share my story, thank you! “Michelle has a Calling to Fulfill”
Amy: You are an earth angel! I'm so happy to have "met" you and been given the opportunity to help all your babies!
Wow you are really doing great you I love that
HENIZ STADIUM MODEL PLEASE HELP