As part of our 6 Weeks of LOVE for Softies series, we’re holding a Soft Toy Drive to benefit children in foster care. We are collecting your newly handcrafted soft toys, stuffed animals and cloth dolls throughout the series (please no store-bought or old softies). The National Foster Parent Association has a convention in June where they’ll distribute the softies to children in attendance and foster parents, to take home to the children in their care. Irene Clements, the Executive Director of the National Foster Parent Association (and a fellow sewist), provided us with a little background:

The NFPA serves as the National Voice of Foster Parents and other caregivers who care for children/youth in the foster care system.  We provide advocacy on the national level and assist state foster parent associations, local foster parent associations and support groups and individual caregivers and others to advocate for their needs on the state and local levels.  Our members are indivicual caregivers, social workers, casemanagers, foster care agencies, state and local foster parent associations, etc.  We support our members and all foster parents across the country with various supports and information on services available to the families and the precious children they serve.  One of our avenues for support is our annual convention.  As you know this year’s convention will be in Norfolk, VA in June.  Each year the location of the conference changes as we move it around the country to hopefully provide opportunities for folks to attend so they don’t have to travel too far.

There are around 120,000 foster homes in the United States and around 450,000 children/youth in foster care.  Many of these children/youth are placed by the state or county in foster homes and a good portion are also placed by the state or county with relatives who have agreed to keep the children safe and well, as do foster parents, while their parent(s) seek to complete requirements to be reunified with their children.

As you can see from the numbers, many more foster families are needed across the country.  NFPA is working with the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) and Generations United in a collaboration called Advocates for Families First to encourage more people to seriously consider becoming foster and/por adoptive parents or to help the children and their families in other ways.  We are currently rolling out some tools to assist states and local associations and support groups to help the general population to better understand the foster care system, the children in the system and those adults who volunteer to be their foster parents in their times of need.

Let’s show our solidarity with these children and their foster families by making and collecting beautiful new soft toys and cloth dolls!


Guidelines

  • We will accept handmade sewn, knit or chocheted softies (soft toy, doll, monster, stuffed animal, etc.). IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are also entering the softie you make in the Spectacular Softies Contest, please know that contest softies must be primarily sewn. Although we’re collecting knit and crocheted dolls for the toy drive, they will not be eligible for the contest. They will, however be eligible for the drawing (see below).
  • Don’t send old or used softies. They must be in good condition, clean and odorless.
  • Don’t send store-bought dolls or stuffed animals unless they were made by hand by a soft toy or doll artisan.
  • Please consider boys and girls, from babies to teens.
  • When you ship the softie to us, include a card or sheet of paper with your name, email address and city.
  • All softies must be received by April 30, 2015. We extended the deadline to May 8, 2015!
  • Ship to:

Sew Mama Sew
13850 SW Bonnie Brae St.
Beaverton, OR 97005
USA


Bamboletta Giveaway

Everyone who sends a softie to us will have their name put in a drawing for a beautiful doll, donated by Bamboletta Dolls! If you send multiple softies you will earn a corresponding number of entries.

Christina’s handcrafted, artisan Bamboletta Dolls are created with the finest attention to detail. Our winner will receive a sitting friend-style doll ($191 value).

From Bamboletta Dolls:

Sitting Dolls love to be invited to tea parties or to imaginary classrooms where they can find a cozy seat for their bendable limbs. With their rounded feet, outstretched arms and movable limbs, Sitting Dolls are perfect for children and moms who want a softer playmate. They come with underpants, a super cute outfit and shoes. We recommend a Sitting Dolls for ages three and up, but they love kids of all ages. They are 15″ long with hair made with wool, mohair and alpaca yarns. The body is sewn with specially-milled cotton from the Netherlands and stuffed with natural, western Canadian wool. Includes a unique Birth Certificate, care instructions and Blush Kit for touching up rosy cheeks.

Find more about our 6 Weeks of LOVE for Softies and learn how to enter the Spectacular Softies Contest here, plus find details on our Grand Prize, a Pfaff Creative 3.0 sewing and embroidery machine valued at $3,999! Help us spread word about #6WeeksOfSofties via social media. Use #6WeeksOfSofties to share your new softies and to find softie inspiration throughout the series.