You know those gorgeous Easter and Christmas dresses you buy for your girls for their Holiday pictures? The dresses that get worn twice only because you vowed to make your little angels dress like girls so you could get your money's worth, and 6 months later you find those dresses being used on the Life-Size Barbie? Yeah, those dresses...
And you know how you bought that expensive jewelry kit, because you wanted to give only hand-made gifts for Christmas three years ago since Etsy made you feel guilty for having successfully single-handedly managing to blow up the earth by driving in your gas-guzzling, carbon something-or-other-emitting, ozone layer-destroying SUV to purchase gifts manufactured by Companies Not Eco-friendly with Greenliness? And remember how you felt when you found that kit in the back of your closet beside the unopened packages of glass beads and crystals and clasps and wire, and you recalled how many necklaces you DIDN'T make for your nieces that year? Yeah, that jewelry kit...
Face it - your daughters have long-ago outgrown those dresses, your crafting skills have moved on to Digital Scrapbooking, and you just don't have time for Ebay or Etsy. I can only say these things because I have first-hand experience with similar issues, stopping short of Etsy and SUVs, of course. (Have you read my post about my genius husband's vehicle?)
So, let's talk about what you can do with these beautiful dresses and jewelry trinkets you have stashed in Rubbermaid totes.
Please look here and here at Sarah's blog, then come right back and finish reading about how you can participate.
I have been in contact with Sarah, and she asked if I would be willing to help collect and ship dresses and jewelry that these precious little girls can enjoy. Savannah and I are very excited to be involved in this project.
We would like to collect velvety, lacy, or frilly Holiday-type dresses for the children of SCH. You may have items left hanging in the back of your closets that you've forgotten existed. If it's clean, in excellent condition, and you would let your daughter wear it to church on Easter or Christmas Sunday, please send it to us. You also can be watching the clearance racks in the next few weeks, because Easter dresses will be discounted to very affordable prices. Sarah is looking for all sizes of dresses for girls from size 2 on up.
As for the jewelry, if you have gold or silver jewelry you no longer wear, the girls would love that, too. Sarah says that in the Indian culture, the "real thing, or at least real-looking" is most appreciated. The nicer faux jewelry at Claire's Boutique and similar stores is acceptable as well.
I asked Sarah whether homemade jewelry with glass beads and other things that Hobby Lobby is stocked with would be appreciated. She suggested that learning to make necklaces and bracelets would be an excellent vocational opportunity and possible fund-raiser for the older girls at SCH to participate in. So, if you have packages of the really pretty glass beads, crystals, wire, clasps, string, charms, or any quality jewelry-making tools or containers, OR if you would like to help out by making a purchasing trip to Hobby Lobby, Michael's, or your favorite local shop, we will take care of getting that to Sarah as well. (Make sure you check online for Hobby Lobby coupons - they usually have a large selection of supplies on sale.)
The last item you can help with is shipping fees. We will be collecting items for a period of time, then combining them to ship to Sarah, or to her friends in the United States who will be traveling to visit her. If you don't have dresses or jewelry to donate but still want to help, you can send donations to cover shipping costs and that will be very much appreciated as well. Of course, if you would rather just ship things directly to Sarah, no one would be opposed to that. Just email her through her blog, and she'll let you know where to send things. Even better, you could start your own local project. We're planning to print some promotion fliers and distribute them to various churches and other organizations.
This will be an on-going project, as the girls will, of course, be growing and needing larger clothing sizes and new jewelry and jewelry supplies. The Indian culture is absolutely beautiful and full of color. (Look here for a glimpse into what a wedding looks like in India. GORGEOUS!!) We'll take donations anytime, so if you're a garage sale fanatic and find some great buys on princess dresses this summer, remember us!
If you have donations or questions, like needing my address, please email me through my profile page and I'll get back with you as soon as possible.
Why are we doing this? Well, for the quick answer, because Sarah asked. These girls are important to her, and they are important to God. I have more personal reasons why a project like this appeals to me, but in an effort to get started quickly, I'll save those reasons for a different post at a later time.
Thank you SO much!
**updated 3/22/09** Sarah has posted some FAQ's about Operation Princess right here.