You know those friends who make you want to be a better version of your current self? The good examples? The ones who you know you can turn to when difficulties present themselves in your lives for advice or help? The ones who leave you feeling centered and stronger than you thought you were after talking to them? The ones who make you think and laugh and relax and may challenge your views but never hold them against you? I am so lucky and thankful to have a number of those friends in my life. Two of my favorites are John and Jeanne. I want to share some information about one of their current projects, what I’m doing to help and how you can help, if inspired and able, as well.
Early this year John and Jeanne Conca brought their family on a mission trip to a rural town in Baja to help at an orphanage. I’ve heard their trip was humbling and life changing. John wrote about that trip here. Their stories touched my heart and when I heard that they were returning for 3 weeks over Christmas and New Years and are hoping to bring a Christmas gift for each child (there are just under 100 children there), I wanted to help.
I did a little research and realizing that I can’t very well go buying a bunch of gifts for them to bring along (what with starting a business…money is tight) I decided I could make something. I found www.dollydonation.blogspot.com, pulled some of my supplies I had on hand together and started making dolls using their free pattern! It turns out I have A LOT of yarn and not much felt (green and weird yellow only) for hair so once I made some dolls I used this tutorial to make their hair.
It is a process which I’m currently trying to make more efficient by sewing one lone row of hair and just sewing down partially then sewing down the sides and then folding the long row over and sewing it back and forth down onto the head to make 2 or 3 layers of hair. It’s way fun with the variegated colors! I hope the kids like funky doll hair. :) When I’m done with all the doll’s hair I will paint the faces and if there’s still time I’ll make some accessories skirts/shoes/bags/hair bows…
Here are 5 thus faceless dollies…and one little girl who is pre-loving them for the orphans:
This was my first “hair”.
These are more fun than I thought they’d be. :) Sirena definitely needs one for Christmas. After this project I think I’ll make my own doll pattern so I can make them and call them my own. Drayke has also requested a wife for ZhaZha, his teddy bear, so I need to figure out how to make teddy bears too.
If you wish to help Jeanne and John with providing Christmas gifts to the orphans or if you would like to assist them in providing donations to support the orphanage and their community please contact me or John before December 14th to find out how you can help. If you want to help after that date, by all means, contact us anyway as this isn’t a project with an expiration date. The orphanage, children and their community can always use a little extra help.
This project has opened a new path in my life. I think it comes from finding the opportunities to help others. Look for those opportunities whenever you have the chance. Especially when you feel like you need a little extra help yourself. Helping others has an amazing, perhaps unexpected effect- it gives you a sense of gratitude which seems to be a healing emotion. It also opens positive doors to paths which lead you exactly where you need to be.
I hope you find some of your own opportunities this holiday season.
Sometime in the next couple weeks I’ll show you the finishing pictures and other projects we’re finishing up……finally. ;)