An angel sent from God!
Amy Jandrisevits, a former social worker in a pediatric oncology unit, has probably the coolest job in the world. She is a doll maker, and not just any doll, but she makes personalized dolls to match their owners.
When she was working with kids in the cancer unit, Amy would do play therapy with dolls. But the dolls she played with were in perfect condition, unlike the kids in her unit.
Just like she describes in her GoFundMe campaign, Amy thought how difficult it is to convince the kids they’re beautiful when there’s nothing to compare them with, and will never see themselves in anything.
And that’s when she came up with the best idea ever.
She started making non-traditional Raggedy Ann dolls, and soon many parents approached her asking for dolls to suit the differences that made their children unique. Now, four years later, Amy has a new mission in her life, that is doll-making, a project which she called “A Doll Like Me.”
So far, Amy has made over 300 dolls, and her wait list is never empty. The dolls cost $100 to make, but I bet parents would pay much more just to see their children happy. And for those who can’t afford the dolls, well, Amy thought of them too.
There’s a GoFundMe campaign she started that will help pay for the material and shipping cost of the dolls. The funds will also help turn “A Doll Like Me” into an official non-profit organization.
Amy has already teamed up with a children’s hospital to identify kids who could need a personalized doll.
People are really loving this project as she has managed to raise almost $23,000 of her $25,000 goal. Amy hopes to reach her ultimate goal and do this without having families pay for the dolls.
She went on saying:
If we’re going to look at mental health as a necessary part of medical care, this is key. If you want validation and play therapy, you need these dolls.
Amy will make dolls according to children’s preferences as well, in addition to limb difference, ethnicity, body markings, or any other health consideration.
Amy explains on her Facebook profile she first learned how to make dolls with different limbs, however, later she figured out how to include hand differences, birthmarks, burn scars, and albinism.
But now she accepts every kind of order, saying “if it’s something I can do, I’m willing to try.”
If you look at the “A Doll Like Me” Facebook page, you’ll see many adorable faces of children getting their dolls, and saying “she’s just like me.”
Amy added that behind every doll is a story, but she normally lets the pictures do the talking. However, there are stories so touching that she sometimes fills us in with the details.
Just like the case of this pretty little guy whose dad is a cop, and Amy had two police officers take some pictures with the doll in their squad car. The police officers not only agreed to take the pictures, but they sent the boy some Green Bay Packer cards, as well as a toy police dog.
Facebook | A Doll Like Me
Parents, oftentimes share with others the impact these dolls had on their children, just like the mom of these two girls.
These dolls are our 3rd and 4th children. There have been times when I have pushed the dolls ‘Little Callie and Little Phoebe’ in my pram as that’s what the girls have wanted whilst they walk.
The project should’ve been called “A Doll Exactly Like Me”, as Amy makes sure the doll’s marks are in the exact same place as its owners.
Amy sent this little boy a doll all over to Venezuela and said:
Representation matters regardless of age, gender, and location.
The best of buddies!
Amy, you’re an angel for doing this. Hopefully, more people will follow your lead.