Project 22: The Children of La Chureca

This post isn’t an easy one to write. There’s too much emotion flooding through my head. Before I write a post I do my research on the internet and with the organizations we are working with. I gather information and photos to share with you. Whenever it comes to kids it hits me in the gut like a ton of bricks. It’s kids. Sweet kids that didn’t pick their lives. Did they somehow draw the short straw to be given this life? It seems not fair.

I get sad and then I get angry and then I choose to DO SOMETHING about it.

This process happens every single time.

I’m thankful that Craft Hope gives us this outlet. You know, to do something about it.

For Project 22 we will be traveling back to Nicragua. To the dumps of Nicaragua to be exact — La Chureca. We have been there before with Eren for Project 2. Eren took handmade dolls with her to La Chureca (the dumps).

Over 5,000 people live in La Chureca. 5,000 men, women, teens, children and babies call the dump their homes. They live off the food they find and recycle for money what they can. To say this situation is deplorable would be the understatement of the year. Nicaragua is the second poorest nation in the world and they need our help.

There are scores of organizations that travel to La Chureca every year providing buildings, schools, and services. Countless organizations that are spreading HOPE and when a friend (Brenda, from Project 14) emails asking for help, we jump to the call.

For Project 22 we are partnering with Mission Nicaragua out of Tallahassee, Florida. They work with Open Hearts Mission in Nicaragua and are traveling to Nicaragua to lead a camp located on Lake Nicaragua. The children of La Chureca will be brought out to the camp. The mission group will minister to the poor communities and the dump of La Chureca helping with nutrition, clothing, and housing, among many other things.

For { Project 22 } The Children of La Chureca we will be collecting flip flops for the children in these communities. The idea we had was that you can pick up flip flops from the store and accent them however you’d like. I’ve seen flip flops at the dollar store and dollar bins at Target. You can get ribbon or simply cut strips of fabric to tie onto the flip flops. They need flip flops of all sizes. From toddlers to teenagers. For the boys, it may be a little more difficult but you are a creative lot and I’m sure you’ll come up with something!

This is a great summer project to get kids involved with as well. Teach them about Nicaragua. Show them where it is on the globe and have them make flip flops to donate. It’s a very tangible way to show them how other children live around the world and how they can DO SOMETHING.

I’ll do a post with some ideas soon.

Here are the details… Please mail the flip flops to:

Wildwood Church

100 Ox Bottom Road

Tallahassee, Florida  32312

Please leave a comment on this post if you’d like to participate. They are traveling at the end of July, so let’s make the deadline July 10th so they will have time to get them all boxed up and ready to go.

Once again, keeping spreading HOPE!!


Project 23: It Started with a Dress

From time to time people ask me how I started Craft Hope. I always respond with, it started with a dress. Twenty-nine pillowcase dresses to be exact. I started this little blog and named it Craft Hope. I probably had twenty followers and they were all blog friends. I said, ‘let’s make pillowcase dresses for orphans in Mexico’ and they say ‘okay.’ And the rest is history.

Four years and over 100,000 handmade items later here we are.

So I say, let’s make pillowcase dresses again and send them all over the world for children who need a little hope and love.

Let’s send them to a school in Jordan, an orphanage in Costa Rica, and to Tanzania.

For Project 23 :: It Started with a Dress we are collecting HANDMADE pillowcase dresses for little girls around the world. We are partnering with Sew Gorgeous. Their mission is simple. They are a group of women who take pillowcases and turn them into dresses for girls in developing countries. They send the dresses with friends they trust who are traveling to third world countries and they distribute them to the girls.

A pillowcase dress is one of the most simple things you can sew, so if you’ve never sewn before this is a great place to start. I’m even teaching 25 junior high students to sew with my Craft Hope Club (more about this later) and we have already started making the pillowcase dresses. We have one sewing machine and a whole lot of love ready to share. With that one machine we will make as many dresses as we can. None of my students have ever sewn before, but that’s not stopping any of us. If we can do it, you can to.

If you need pillowcase dress patterns there are hundreds all over the internet. Google is your friend. There’s also a super simple pattern in the Craft Hope book.

Please rally your friends and children and make dresses for this project. Get a group together and sew. It’s fun, simple, and for a great cause.

The deadline for Project 23 is November 8, 2013. Please have all dresses sent to us around this deadline.

Sew Gorgeous operates out of Canada, but they have provided us with two mailing addresses for your convenience.

United States mailing address (choose either one):

10 Hess Circle
Ephrata, PA 17522


723 Parker Den Dr.
Ruskin, FL 33570

Canada mailing address:

416078 10th Line RR#1
Clarksburg, ON

Leave a comment on this post if you would like to participate and start sewing! When you comment, tell us where you are from and who you are crafting with.

Spread HOPE. Craft HOPE.

Project 21: Rally for Roma


One simple word that means so much.

Hope shines, motivates, energizes, believes, and endures. Hope brings people together. Strangers from across the globe. United in a cause greater than themselves. To spread HOPE.

project 21 1

Without further ado, I am excited to announce { Project 21 } Rally for Roma. We have been called upon by Another Child Foundation in a partnership to fill a container with LOVE to send to Romania this summer. Each year ACF sends a container of items to Romania to prepare for the harsh winter. This year, Craft Hope will be on board.

Another Child Foundation’s mission is to reach, teach, and transform the lives of orphaned and at-risk children in Romania. They work directly with children and families in Roma communities to help change generational ideas of prejudice, to help keep families together in extreme poverty, and to help education and encourage orphans and at-risk children, so that they can be productive members of their society.

project 21 2project 21 3project 21 4

Romanian winters are rough. Especially, when gypsy families in the Tarnaveni community are living in condemnded, Soviet era apartment buildings with little or no electricity for heat. Most of the apartment buildings have huge gaps in the walls or broken windows, so there is basically no way of shutting their homes off from the cold and snow. At the end of the summer each year, ACF sends a container of humanitarian aid to Romania. Craft Hope will help to fill the container with blanketshats, and scarvesto help keep these precious people warm and sickness free during the winter.

We would love for you to join us and send HANDMADE blankets, hats, and scarves.

There are no specifics. They can be for babies, kids, and adults. They can be sewn, crochet, or knit. There are no size requirements or specifications. Any donation will be way above and beyond what most people have now. Our objective is warmth… and HOPE, of course.

The deadline for Project 21 is May 20, 2013.

Please send in your handmade blankets, hats, and scarves to us at:

Craft Hope

c/o Jessica Huettel

2930 Manila Lane

Houston, TX 77043

A huge thank you to Jessica for contacting me and making us aware of Another Child Foundation’s mission.

As always, please leave a comment on this post if you’d like to participate in this project. Also, please share this post on facebook and your blog. It takes one person to make a big difference.

“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” — Anne Frank

Project 20: Hope for China

There are an estimated 145 million orphans in our world.  Nearly 3/5 of those orphans live in Asia. Sixty percent of the children in Chinese orphanages are children with special needs. Carin Vogelzang, founder of Margaret’s Hope Chest, is on a journey to adopt one of these Asian orphans. We are working with Carin once again to spread HOPE. As you recall, way back in Project 5 we collected handmade quilts for children in Grand Rapids, Michigan with Margaret’s Hope Chest.

project 20 1

project 20 2project 20 3

Carin is embracing her own journey right now to adopt a sweet daughter from China.

Here’s her story:

Our eyes have been opened to needs of orphans worldwide.  We are excited that Craft Hope volunteers will be using their resources and time to brighten and soften the lives of 100’s of these orphans.

The first book I read after my husband and I made a commitment to adopt our daughter was ‘The House of Hope’.  As I raced through the pages I learned about the work of Robin and Joyce Hill.  Through this couple’s tireless efforts, the lives of 1000’s of babies with special medical needs in China have been saved.  As you could imagine, it takes an army of volunteers and donations to keep these babies fed, dry and most of all, healthy.  We can help by making cloth baby bibs that will be distributed among the orphange’s run by the New Hope Foundation.

It’s time to pull out your favorite cloth bib pattern or we have provided a link to 52 free tutorials for cloth bibs.  Bibs can be any size (ages 0-7), color or design.  The only restrictions are NO LAMINATE FABRIC and no embellishments like buttons.

As soon as we saw a picture our daughter in July of 2012, worry began to mount. Was she healthy? Was she being well cared for? Was anyone loving her?  Our questions were answered when we found out that an organization called International China Concern was working in our daughter’s orphanage-providing care for the children with special needs including our daughter!   Actually, ICC saved our daughter’s life—a truly heartbreaking and HOPE-filled story.

Part two of Project 20 is making cloth diapers or ‘nappies’ for the babies in the ICC program in Hengyang City.  Our family will have the pleasure of hand delivering these nappies this summer when we pick up our daughter!  Updated 2/19/2013

This project is two fold—choose one project or both!

Both the bibs and diapers can be sent to the following address:

Craft Hope

c/o Carin Vogelzang
630 Griswold SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507


Deadline for the project is April 1st. Don’t know how to make a bib? Click here to find tutorials.  Readmore about Carin’s family’s journey to adopt sweet Tulip and see how ICC saved Tulip’s life.

Please join us for Project 20 :: Hope for China. Leave a comment on this post to join us and start crafting.

Happy Chinese New Year!

{ A huge thank you to Jhoanna Aranez for the photos!! She is an incredible illustrator, designer in the Craft Hope book, and currently resides in Hong Kong.


Update 2/19/2013: Due to pattern problems we will only be collecting BIBS!

Project 19: Dolls, Animals, and Monsters. Oh My!

In the spirit of the holiday season and of Craft Hope, I am excited to announce Project 19 :: Dolls, Animals, and Monsters. Oh My!

Hurricane Sandy unrelentlessly ravaged the northeastern United States coast. Claiming lives, homes, and HOPE. Most of us helplessly watched the news. I, personally, have many many friends in that area of the country and my sister lives in New York City. I kept contact with her until her power went out and then stayed out for days on end. That feeling of helplessness consumed many of us. In the spirit of spreading HOPE, I am proud to announce that our newest project will benefit those who lost the most.

So for Project 19, we will be collecting handmade softies — dolls, animals, sock monkeys, monsters, you name it — for kids who live in the northeastern United States who experienced this devastation.

There aren’t too many requirements for this one. Just make sure they are handmade and be creative! I envision piles of little monsters, robots, dolls, and monkeys. This is also a great project to get kids involved with this holiday season.

The deadline will be January 10 and of course the deadline is flexible. Each and every donation will be delivered to a child who needs them most.

Go on, gather your groups and your friends and start stitching little eyeballs and ears. Of course, for those of you who knit/crochet your creations are welcome as well!


We have two collection locations for now. Two amazing friends that have stepped up and offered up their doorsteps to collect all of the donations. You can mail to either location as they will be delivered all around the north east.

You can mail them to:
Jessie Rayot
43 Race St.
Nutley, NJ 07110

Katrina Kerr
20 Premier Dr.
Londonberry, NH 03053

We love feedback from our craft hope community. Join our discussion on Facebook!