All every child wants is to feel that they fit in. But it can be difficult when they find little or no representation in the world around them, including their toys.
A former social worker with the name of Amy Jandrisevits now involved in a pediatric oncology unit, understands very well how therapeutic it is for children to see their differences reflected in the things they play with, namely dolls. That is what inspired her to create “A Doll Like Me”.
“In my time working with the children, I used dolls in play therapy to help the children express themselves,” said Amy. “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.”
Then he started making his own non-traditional Raggedy Ann dolls for children with disabilities. Each one is handmade and looks exactly like the child it is made for, combining its unique physical characteristics, medical problems and ethnicity.
The reactions are priceless.
Each one costs about $ 100 to manufacture and ship, but if families can’t pay, Amy covers the cost with the funds raised through her GoFundMe campaign. He also partnered with a children’s hospital to help provide other children with dolls so that they feel comfortable while receiving medical attention.
Amy says her main goal is to be able to distribute all the dolls for free. “If we are going to see mental health as a necessary part of medical care, this is the key.”
So far, he has manufactured more than 300 dolls, and his admirable efforts will definitely not go unnoticed. In fact, he was recently selected as the December Hero of GoFundMe!
“It’s an honor to be recognized for what my love work is. And it’s amazing that other people believe in the power of representation,” Amy wrote. “On the one hand, the dolls are validating the little people they reflect. And, on the other hand, dolls are a tangible way to share kindness and show acceptance. These children are perfect as they are!
Thank you very much, Amy, for helping children celebrate their differences by creating more diversity in their toys. Their happy faces really say it all.
Notice how a little girl is surprised with her own “doll like me” in the following clip, and share to spread Amy’s mission.
source: Inspire More