I love to craft to save money on things that I find online or in the stores that I know I could do just as well for less money. I’ve crafted so many things from Halloween costumes to Christmas Stockings to Birthday Cakes and lots of things in between. I do this because I’m not a millionaire, but I don’t want to live like a pauper. I am even known to have my moments of “extreme couponing.”
One of the things that I always feel I could do more is giving to charity. If I had the money, I would like to help so many causes. I do donate used things to Goodwill throughout the year, but I’m always looking for new ways to give.
Then I found A Heart to Hold. A Heart to Hold is an amazing 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to “offer comfort to families who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss by creating and sharing the gift of a weighted handmade heart.” Losing a child is something that a parent should never have to experience. The heart is to help those families find a little peace in such a difficult time.
I know many people who have been affected by pregnancy and infant loss. Their Hearts from Afar program not only offers people like me the opportunity to give something meaningful without taking a huge chunk out of our bank accounts, but it also helps people heal from their loss.
Abi Crouch, founder of A Heart to Hold, says, “I believe that there is healing in helping, and our Hearts from Afar program and our local workshops were created to provide the opportunity for people who have been affected by pregnancy or infant loss to be a part of another family’s healing by sewing or filling a heart for them. One of the things that allows A Heart to Hold to fulfill our mission is the help of our Hearts from Afar sewers. Having the hearts that they have sewn allows us to fill and ship hearts to waiting families faster. We are so grateful for their support and love getting packages of hearts made with fun fabrics from them.”
That being said, I’d like to share my experience in the simple tutorial of making a heart to show others that crafting can be charitable!
I received the pattern for various sized hearts to create from emailing email@example.com
Abi stated that they have a large request for their extra small-sized hearts, so I decided to make that. The instructions on specific fabric choices are well explained, and I went to the fabric store and decided on a neutral pattern in fleece to meet the need of any gender child. Note: They ask for specific washing instructions of the fabric prior to sewing of unscented detergent and dry without a dryer sheet.
I downloaded the PDF pattern, printed it out on regular printer paper, cut and taped it together.
Printed extra small heart template on 2 pieces of printer paper
heart pattern cut and taped together
When the fabric came out of the dryer, I pressed it and folded it in half, selvage to selvage (not the cut side). I folded it so the “nice side” faced in (a tip to finding the “nice” side is looking at the selvage. If there are printed words on the selvage, you can read it on the “nice” side).
fabric folded, selvage to selvage
I then pinned the pattern to my fabric and cut, giving me 2 hearts.
heart pinned to fabric and cutting started
Keeping the nice sides facing each other, I sewed the two hearts together using a 1/4″ seam allowance, making sure to leave the part of the pattern that says “open” unstitched so that they are able to fill it later.
unstitched opening in heart
They ask to not flip the pillow so the nice sides face out to make it easier for them to store and fill.
Now I’m done and ready to mail! I made a couple of hearts since I had my sewing machine all set up and could quickly make many of them. I feel so great about using my crafting for something bigger than myself. I hope to do many of these to give to those dealing with the loss of their children. I think this charity is a great example of a support system to help those in need that isn’t about how much money you give but rather how much heart.
I have also decided to donate one heart for every order that I receive in the month of June from my shop Bobbin’ Along. This way, if crafting isn’t your skill, you can still give. I urge you all to use your own skills to help others in need. As you can see from my experience, just a little time and effort goes a long way to make a difference in a person’s life.
To find a workshop or request patterns to help this charity, go to http://www.aHearttoHold.com or find them on Facebook.