I ran across this Squidoo lens and was deeply touched. Their project is amazing. Volunteers knit cute, easy-to-make dolls that are used as packing materials for medical supplies sent to HIV clinics in Africa. The dolls are then given to children in the community, including clinic patients with AIDS, who love and cherish them. Children with AIDS are often buried with their "comfort dolls."
The project builds on this by using the dolls in promotional fundraising activities with famous musicians. So you get to help raise money for a wonderful cause, give some love and comfort to a child who needs it, and feel absolutely excellent about your few hours of time spent.
I’m planning on knitting a few of the dolls–the pattern is right here and looks very easy. There’s an address on the same page to mail the dolls. I’m also planning on slipping a check in when I send them. Never hurts, right? If you knit, I encourage you to join me. If you don’t, email a link to someone you know who does.
I’m knocked out by the expressions on these children’s faces. Little children, especially when they’re facing hardship, get so much from having a doll to love and take care of. This project is easy enough for beginners, and there’s nothing else you can work on this weekend that will make you feel as wonderful.
I really liked this quote from the woman who organizes the project:
No matter how caught up I get in writing letters to bands and their managers for photo ops, no matter how frustrated I get when I don’t hear back, or I get a ‘no’ answer, no matter how many dolls I knit that look goofy to me–I always keep in mind who my partner and I, who these bands, who my friends who knit furiously after dinner each night–who we are doing this for in the end.
Why Squidoo is a great communication vehicle
Check out the difference between the Squidoo lens and this MySpace page (turn down your speakers) created by the same person. The Squidoo template brings unity and visual harmony to the message, and provides the right number of tools to add information like images, links, Wikipedia references, whatever.
If you have a project that you want to get the word out about and you’re not a communications pro, I can recommend Squidoo as an easy and smart way to do that. You might even make a few dollars from your pages, which you can put in your pocket or donate to charity directly from the lens. I’ve been putting lenses together for a few months now, and so far I’m impressed.