Creating Joy!

Here’s a feel-good story for the holidays (although it should make you feel good any day of the year)!

Last summer Moda designer Stacy Iest Hsu received an email from a stranger (and it wasn’t a Nigerian prince). Jennifer Kwant wrote to say that she’d been to a fabric store and spotted Stacy’s “Best Friends Forever” dolls.

Here’s what she wrote:  I fell in love with the already-made dolls on display and the wheels starting turning: I could have the young women ages 12 – 18 in my church congregation make these dolls to donate to charity. It would provide these young women a chance to learn how to sew and also an opportunity to give to those in need. I quickly found the bolt of fabric and took it to the cutting table. “I need enough panels to make 20 dolls”, I said.  

Jennifer showed the fabric to her mother, a longtime Moda fan, who immediately offered to help. She created “kits” by stitching the dolls so that they were ready to be stuffed. On a Saturday in September Jennifer hosted a sewing day for women of all ages in her church to come together and have an opportunity to socialize while they stuffed and sewed the dolls shut by hand. Jennfer wrote: We had a very enjoyable morning together chatting, sewing, and having lunch. We were able to complete 39 dolls. I wish I could see the recipients’ faces as they receive these beautiful dolls. 

Each of the dolls also got a name and was packed up to share. Jennifer chose Hearts Knit Together, a Utah nonprofit that delivers personal necessities and more to women and children in domestic violence shelters, victim support centers, and through refugee organizations.

Needless to say, the project delighted Stacy, who wrote back to Jennifer: Your note just made my day!  I love hearing stories like this.  In my career my goal was to somehow impact the world positively and it makes me so happy to hear that my designs are helping others and creating joy! Thank you for all your hard work in coordinating these efforts! I will continue to try to design things to inspire good.

See, we told you it was a feel-good story! And we hope you feel good all day! Thanks to Jennifer Kwant, for sharing the tale of her project and to Stacy for sharing it with us.

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14 thoughts on “Creating Joy!

  1. That was a feel good story. I can see that a lot of “behind the scenes” work and money, not to mention organizing, to get the job completed. Thanks for also including the picture of the group making those dolls.

  2. Made my day. I love to quilt, and have so many projects actually lined up, others in my head. But, where do they go? I can’t keep them all and thinking of charities to donate them too.

  3. What a great idea! Imagine the impact we could make if we all did that!
    I make small and mini quilts- more than I need just because………..I buy dolls at the store and pair them with my quilts for donated Christmas gifts. I hope the child that gets them will love them.

  4. Awwww. Brought tears to my eyes. There is such an abundance of goodness and generosity in the world. We need more stories like this to lift our spirits and inspire us to do better. Thank you.

  5. A perfect “Pay It Forward” story to share too. Thanking all of you for sharing your story. Wishing all a beautiful holiday season.

  6. Jennifer and mom you are super. Your church is wonderful to support you with tables, etc. Merry Christmas all…….

  7. Wow, that was a a feel good. What a great idea and fabulous way to use these so sweet panels. Love that you named them.

  8. I love this story. I made the Red Riding Hood doll and ensemble for my granddaughter on her 2nd birthday. She still plays with her at age 5 1/2. What a fun project for Jennifer and her mother to share with the ladies in their church.Maybe some new seamstresses and quilters were inspired.

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