Yesterday, my mom published a blog about Enchanted Makeovers, the mission of Terry Grahl to turn homeless shelters into places of beauty and comfort. Today, I want to talk about the branches of EM that care for children and how people who sew can help.
Mom and I both spoke to Terry over the phone last week, and my inner warrior woke up. Though in my imagination she carries a sword, in real life she wields a needle and a crochet hook. One statement that people often make when they refer to the homeless is they don't need more than the essentials of life. Terry has heard that on numerous occasions. People have said "what's the use?" to her face. And you know what? It's wrong.
"The Homeless" are humans, just like you and me. Therefore, they deserve the dignity that is a place of safety *and* beauty. Terry doesn't care that it *may* be destroyed in a year, only that for one shining moment, beauty had been restored to these women's lives.
It was her projects for children that got my attention. On the main website for Enchanted Makeovers, there are pictures of two adorable little girls. I remember our house fire that resulted in our homelessness when I was ten. I remember what that was like. They are me. When I hear people say that children in crisis don't need anything more than a bed, clothes, and food, I think "How wrong you are!"
EM runs three sections for children: Capes for Kids, The Travelling Pillowcase, and the Doll Adoption project. Each of these projects relies on the work of crafters to make a handmade gift for a child in need.
Capes for Kids is a simple idea: crafters make dress up capes for children in shelters, but it goes beyond that. These capes, made with love, are the armor that protect children from the naysayers outside. They too can be superheroes, princesses, and whatever they want to imagine. The page offers the pattern that can be used for this project. (People who want to go the extra mile can also donate name patches, see here)
Doll Adoption Project is all about giving kids, not just girls, something to cuddle that's really and truly theirs. Few people have any idea how much having one simple toy makes a difference in the life of a child, especially when it's handmade with love. Any stuffed toy or rag doll pattern is welcome to be used, so long as it's child safe.
Finally, Enchanted Makeovers collects pillowcases for the Travelling Pillowcase Project. This project collects pillowcases that the children and their mothers can keep forever. (Of course, they can keep everything they've been given by EM, but Pillowcases are the one home item they can keep.) These handmade beauties are made to be used as one little piece of home that they do not have to give up and leave.
Enchanted Makeovers is about so much more than cutesy stuff and a way for people to feel good about helping "the poor". It's about changing lives! It's about speaking life to those who have been held in darkness! It's about the warrior in every woman rising up to defend her sister who's fallen down. It's using the "good enchantment" of hope against the power of despair. My mom and Terry and I need a few more Amazons and Eowyns at the front lines... Will you join us?
I'm T.K. Wilson, Read my blog for great information and stories about dolls, toy restoration, Christian Fantasy and so much more! Blog updates Fridays.