Friedman and Lee are loyal volunteers of a unique
non-profit organization called Operation Christmas Child that packs empty shoe
boxes full of small gifts to send to children who need them around the world
during the Christmas season.
But Lee and Friedman don’t fill their shoe box gifts with just any items – they hand sew and decorate small butterbean dolls made out of scraps of fabric to pack in their shoe box gifts.
Lee started making the dolls for Operation Christmas Child last year at her church, Church of the Apostles in Atlanta, Ga. That is where she met – and inspired – Friedman, as well as hundreds of other members.
“These dolls are so darling and the enthusiasm to make
them seems to be contagious,” says Friedman, who lives in Smyrna, Ga.
According to Friedman, the ranks of crafters at church, “even those who are not crafty,” are growing rapidly. At an Operation Christmas Child event, missionary pastors told Friedman and Lee that many needy girls only want one thing – a doll.
As the story of the dolls has spread, so has the volunteer effort. Lee recently moved, but brought the project along to her new church in Ellijay. Another Operation Christmas Child volunteer in Snellville, Ga., Midge Miller, has started the butterbean doll project at Westminster Presbyterian Church in that city.
“I love how Midge jumped right in as soon as she saw the first doll,” said Friedman.
Friedman continues to sew dolls, and is planning to create small stuffed bears and tote bags to put in the shoe box gifts, as well, using fabric she collects at garage sales.
Want more information about Operation Christmas Child? Go to samaritanspurse.org/occ to find out more. You can also reach out to any of the volunteers mentioned in this article for more information or to get involved with Operation Christmas Child.
Joan Friedman: email@example.com
Midge Miller: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joy Ugi: email@example.com