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Knit Comfort Dolls for Dominican Republic Children

Posted by:   Troop 62886 on Jun 24, 2011
Town:         Middletown
Troop:        62886

What issue did your Take Action project address?
Our Take Action Project addressed the needs of children and their parents as they were receiving medical treatment during a medical mission program in the Dominican Republic.

What was your Take Action Project? Who did you involve in your project?
Our Take Action Project was to learn to knit ourselves, to teach others to knit so they could help and to get as many people involved to help knit comfort dolls so they could be distributed to children as they were being treated during a medical mission program in the Dominican Republic. We are giving the dolls to the students at the Watkinson School in Hartford, CT in November 2011 to bring over with them when they travel to the Dominican Republic for the mission. They went last year with about 100 dolls. They said they wished they had more. The children over there have absolutely nothing. They are scared when they and their parents are receiving medical treatments. The dolls brought such comfort to them. Our goal is to send over 500 dolls in November 2011. We involved our school by holding an assembly and talking about the project, we spoke at our church during masses, we held a knitting social and invited beginners to learn to knit, experienced knitters to teach others. We passed out free patterns and yarn. We also made "make your own doll kits" with pre-measured materials that included everything you need to make one doll. We passed out flyers to everyone we knew and posted them where ever we could. We also asked the local newspaper if they would run an article and ask our community to help. They not only ran the article, printed the knitting pattern in the article but they offered to put a collection box in their main office.

What were the results? How did it affect the community?
So far we have over 200 dolls. Our goal is 500 dolls by November. Everyone seems to love this project and wants to help. We put a collection box in the foyer of our church. We check the box every Sunday and every week there are more dolls in the box. We received emails after the article ran in the newspaper from people who want to help. Our knitting social was a success. We have lots of people in our school, church and community helping out. We even have family and friends helping that live in different cities and states. It has brought our local community together and everyone is pulling together to reach our goal. It will help both the children in the Dominican Republic community as well as their parents because when kids are happy and comforted, their parents are happy too.

What did you learn from the experience?
We learned that we have the power to make a difference on a global scale. We also learned that the more people that get involved, the bigger the impact. If we were making the dolls all by ourselves, we would probably have about 25 dolls but by involving the community we already have over 200 and are hoping for over 500! We also learned that in order for things to happen, their needs to be leaders. We need people in the community to be the driving force that makes things happen!

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