December 27, 2012

Elf Party

I've had this idea in the back of my mind since last June - I wanted to use the mountains of fabric scraps to make Christmas toys for poor kids in Quito.

bags full of scraps
Last December, I volunteered an afternoon with an organization called UBECI that works with kids who's parents work on the street (e.g. ice cream sellers, fruit vendors, garbage collectors). The kids were amazing - so cute and ready to play. They don't get much of a chance to be a kid because after a certain age, they're expected to work with the family to earn a living.

If the parents could, they would put their kids in school, but they simply can't. They scrap by earning $1-2 a day so that they can afford the spot where they sleep in an apartment filled with other people.

So anyway, the custom here is to give bags of candy to the kids for Christmas and we helped with that last year. But I felt like we could do something more long-lasting, to give these kids something that will let them just be kids. I got a few friends together and we made stuffed animals and creatures out of my fabric scraps.

The girls hard at work cutting out the patterns

The turners and stuffers (and me with my back turned)
In the end, we made 39 toys, no small feat considering most of my friends didn't know how to thread a needle. I still have quite a bit of scraps left so I'm thinking about making some more toys to distribute later.

A cute little elephant
Our fleet of turtles... 
and their painted bellies
A few owls
Greg and I made this frog and cat afterwards
I gave the toys to the organization this last week and they were so happy to get them. The director told me they have 500 kids who come to their programs so they can't give every kid a toy, but they will hand them out to one of the smaller groups right after Christmas.

I hope I can do something similar every year. I feel like there's so much poverty here (and so many good organizations trying to fit it) so the best thing I could do was to get some people together for an afternoon of crafting for a good cause.

The final pile of toys


  1. Ayelet, that is an amazing thing you have done. Really proud of you.