I was going to show you how I made my monster skirt today… but I’ve postponed it a little because there’s a topic weighing heavily on me that I want to talk about.
By most reports, the typhoon that struck the Philippines is the worst tropical storm to make landfall. The death toll is over 3,000 and some estimates predict it will reach 10,000.
What I’m about to say may be controversial, but please hear me out.
Please do not send stuffed animals to the Philippines
The victims of the Philippines typhoon do not have food, drinking water or medicine. They don’t have enough personnel to move debris to search for survivors, or enough well-bodied people to bury their dead. It is a catastrophic situation that most of us find hard to imagine.
As crafters, we want to help. Our first instinct is to make/sew something to send to people in need.
This is a great instinct, but we need to use our judgement. We need devote our crafting energy towards causes where we can make the greatest impact.
And right now isn’t the time. Let me tell you a little about what we learned from Newtown…
Lessons from Newtown
Do you remember when we collected stuffed animals to send to the children of the Newtown tragedy? Crafters banded together and sent an astonishing number of stuffed animals. I was so proud!
I was devastated to find out that what we thought was a great idea turned into a burden. The town was overwhelmed with stuffed animals, requiring countless volunteers and warehouses.
It breaks my heart to say that many of those animals never made it to children. There were just too many.
Do what is most needed
I love stuffed animals (trust me!), but we need to make sure we are doing what is best for the disaster area. The people in the Philippines need water and relief workers, and right now, the best way to get that help to them is to donate money to a relief organization.
Sending a stuffed animal to the Philippines won’t calm the grumble of a child’s hungry tummy and it takes up valuable shipping and distribution resources that are needed for essentials. The shipping cost, alone, would provide food for a family for days.
Use the tragedy to inspire your charity crafting
I know that in horrible times such as this, your fingers get itching to make something… that’s wonderful! You can still help! Maybe you make animals and sell them, donating the profits to the relief effort.
Or maybe you feel inspired to make animals… but save them and donate them to your local fire department, to calm a local child after a scary incident.
Crafters are an amazingly caring group of people. Please continue the tradition of caring by doing what’s best for the disaster-struck region. Send money. Save your stuffed animals for where they’re needed.