There is a small selection of people in the world who are truly angels sent from above, and Amy Jandrisevits is most definitely one of them. I simply could not hold back the tears when I came across this amazing Wisconsin woman’s story. Amy Jandrisevits, previously a pediatric oncology social worker, is a passionate “avid doll collector” as she refers to herself on her Facebook page. And her work is so important in the kind of society we live in today.
Amy used her passion for doll collecting to create and start a project called “A Doll like Me.” Having experience in play therapy, a process that helps children with disabilities work through self-identity issues by relating themselves to dolls, Amy realized a key issue. Although toy companies have recently been doing a better job of diversifying the look of dolls, the patients Amy saw would still have trouble relating because the dolls didn’t mirror their unique qualities.
“It’s that important. If we truly want to talk about the overall health of a child, we need to promote a healthy and positive self-identity,” Amy explained.
Although knowing the benefits of play therapy, Amy witnessed how difficult it was for the kids to truly relate to the dolls. They were feeling left out because their physical qualities didn’t mirror the dolls that were standard looking coming off store shelves. So she started making custom dolls on her dining room table back home. The doll maker’s first custom dolls were for the kids she played within the pediatric oncology unit.
These custom dolls mirror what the children look like exactly, down to their visible birthmarks, physical displays of their medical conditions, etc. These one-of-a-kind unique dolls are complete lookalike dolls for every single child she makes one for. Soon enough, she started making unique dolls for parents or caregivers who would buy from her, and in cases where money was an issue, she would send the child the lookalike doll for free. She has now even started working with children’s hospitals to find specific kids who could use one of her popular dolls.
If you can, donate to her GoFundMe page to support. Amy wrote on the page to support the project, saying, “I am a doll-maker who feels that every kid, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, medical issue, or body type, should look into the sweet face of a doll and see their own.”
This story is gold from all perspectives. Not only is Amy doing an amazing thing for society, but she is also setting a great example on how to use your own unique passions and skills to help others in need and make an impact on peoples’ lives. Who knew that doll-making could have such an impact?