Crafts for a Cause Miami

Crafting one smile at a time!

Photo of Jaden Carrier
20 13

Written by

Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

July 18, 2001

Where are you located:

Miami, FL 33157
Miami, FL 33136
Miami, FL 33177
Miami, FL 33146

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

https://www.facebook.com/craftsforacausemiami/?ref=bookmarks
https://www.instagram.com/craftsforacausemiami/

Date Started

11/01/2016

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan for the future)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

When I was younger, I worked with a 3-year-old who was diagnosed with cancer. Between treatments, he came to visit our school and wanted nothing more than to be part of the class. He was tired of being a patient and just wanted to be a kid. Crafts for a Cause evolved from the idea that we could make a difference by creating crafts with and for kids in need. It's a small way for us to show others that someone out there cares, they are not alone, and that they can still enjoy moments in their lives without the focus being on their situation. Crafts allow people to be engaged and enjoy spending time together. They take the focus off of the difficulties and put it on the happiness of the person.

2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Kids under the age of sixteen have very limited volunteer opportunities. Crafts for a Cause locates organizations in need and gathers kids of all ages to make a difference. We provide the opportunity to get together and make something special. We also educate the volunteers about the organizations and why we're helping them. It's important that kids learn to give back early on because it becomes part of who they are and not just a requirement.

3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

By creating monthly craft opportunities we're getting young kids together to give back to their community. At the Ronald McDonald House, we're bringing a little bit of joy to kids and families that are facing difficult circumstances and want nothing more than to just smile. We're locating specific needs in our community and finding ways to help. For example, we made slip-proof socks for residents of a local nursing home. The facility told us this was a need, but also that many of their patients don't get gifts or visitors. We wrapped the hand-made socks, wrote cards, and delivered them to the residents. We took time to talk and visit while giving to them. We're currently working on Camp Cause where we will use crafts to teach kids and also create crafts to give locally. It's all about empowering even the youngest kids to be able to give back to the community and let everyone know that someone out there cares. It's a simple act of kindness.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

When we first started our monthly crafts at the Ronald McDonald House we were just bringing crafts to make with the kids. Soon, one of our volunteers offered to bring his band to play music and make a more festive atmosphere. Instead of just the kids coming to make the crafts, the families were coming to listen to the music. One mom told us that they get very generous donations of toys for the kids, but that what we're doing is what the kids really need. They need time to socialize and talk and joke around with people who aren't focusing on their illnesses, but on the fact that they are just kids who want to be treated like kids! On one of our first craft days, we had a house full of kids making "creative critters" for a doll adoption program. Just hearing the laughter and joy as they all crafted made me feel like we were on to something big.

5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

We are providing a way for young kids to give back. Many programs have age requirements for the volunteers, but we don't. We find ways to give back to our community and beyond and offer monthly activities that allow the kids who are volunteering with us to be part of something bigger. Camp Cause is designed for kids to make a craft or play a game in exchange for a donation and through this, they learn about paying it forward. Little Labs is our way of turning our passion for the medical field into a way to teach young children about anatomy and physiology.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

We have anywhere from 5-25 volunteers at a time. We've given back to Enchanted Makeovers Doll Adoption Program (20 dolls), Operation Gratitude (50 paracord bracelets), Greater Miami Humane Society (Adopt Me bandanas/cat toys), Chemo Kits (50+) for Holtz Children's Hospital, Brighten Up Bracelets (30) delivered to the Ronald McDonald House, monthly craft days at the Ronald McDonald House in Miami. The kids who join us at Camp Cause have the opportunity to learn about giving back and to have fun doing so. They gain a sense of community with their team. They will choose where their donations will go and be empowered at a young age.

7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

Camp Cause and Little Labs are our current big projects for Crafts for a Cause. We've also started an outreach to help others start Crafts for Cause programs in their states (we have a New Hampshire team we are working with). We're creating book bags with books and crafts to donate. We're designing birthday boxes with crafts kids can make at their birthdays and then package and send to a local place in need. It's all about creating moments that will bring a smile to someone. Everyone deserves a break from daily stress.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

We are homeschoolers and during our co-op classes, we sell pizza to raise funds for our craft supplies. We accept donations of items as well. Often, we chip in our own money to buy the supplies because we know we are making a difference. We could certainly use more funding so that we can provide more classes and crafts. We'd like to make Little Labs a bigger part of our project. It's all about engaging the children and helping them to learn in an atmosphere that's fun and hands-on. My goal for Crafts for a Cause is to build a program that specifically uses crafts to teach, give back, and change lives. It's about learning and doing. I think we need to start planning a website to get all of our ideas out there.

9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Sales
  • Mentors/advisors
  • Donations less than $100

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

We're already trying to do this. We've created an information packet to help others start Crafts for a Cause wherever they are. We're hoping to inspire others to give back through crafts. We'd love to have teams all over the country and world. Initially, it was just two of us coming together with this idea but we brought our idea to our homeschool co-op and it has grown since then. The best part is that we have kids as young as three-years-old helping to make crafts for others. To see a young child putting his heart into making a doll and then packing it up to send to a child in need is simply amazing. The thought and care that we all put into these projects is evident and always leaves us with a sense of accomplishment.

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)
  • Hispanic, Latino/a, or Spanish origin (for example: Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuba, Salvadoran, Dominican, Colombian) (7)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • No, I do not identify with an underrepresented community

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media

Evaluation results

13 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 100%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 0%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. - 0%

2. Changemaker Quality

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 100%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 0%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

3. Creativity

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 100%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 0%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

4. Commitment

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 100%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 0%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer - 0%

5. Connection

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 92.3%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 7.7%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

No Answer or No Connection - 0%

20 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Anastasia Walton
Team

Always looking for great opportunities like this to get my youth involved with. Even though we are not in the same area maybe we can find some way to collaborate.

Photo of Jaden Carrier
Team

I'd love to collaborate. We have created a Crafts for a Cause starter kit to help others build their own Crafts for a Cause community in their area. We'd certainly like to grow and have chapters nationwide.

Photo of Anastasia Walton
Team

Wow that is so great! Lets get in contact so we can connect more on this. My email is: anastasiaw.travels@gmail.com

Photo of Jaden Carrier
Team

This is exactly what my goal is! I'd love to have Crafts for a Cause chapters nationwide! I have a community kit that gives ideas on how to start your own chapter. Let me know if you are interested! There is no cost for the kit, we are just trying to make a difference.

Photo of Anastasia Walton
Team

Yes, I am definitely interested!

Photo of Jaden Carrier
Team

Perfect! My email address is jadencarrier@gmail.com
I'll send you more information as soon as I can.

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