- Sophie &Friends
Recently, we were fortunate enough to be part of a corporate event with a heart. OUr client asked us to incorporate some sort of social outreach/donation into their celebration. We wanted to offer up something that would be fun, engaging, quick, but also practical. A very nice give-away of some sort.
Knowing how many pet lovers there are in the group, we decided upon creating handmade dog toys to be donated to the SPCA. We also decided to offer the stuffing of cute little bears for the SF Firefighters Toy Program.
This group loves crafting and were completely smitten with the idea of their labors going to a good cause.
We provided 8-inch unstuffed Teddy Bear Skins from our favorite online distributor A Dolly's World. Since the theme for the party was "BOLD" we decided to go with wild colored bears.
We set up big baskets of bears on the table along with stuffing, which we purchased in bulk from Joannes Fabrics. One 25 lb. box was enough to stuff 250 8-inch bears. It was so fun to open the box because the minute you release the inner bag the stuffing expands like a Casper Matress! It's totally cool to see this tube of fluff rising about 6 feet in the air! One sweet idea is for each person to write a little note or add a power word on a little slip of fabric and place it inside the bear before they stuff it. The bears are made in such a way that you simply pull a string to seal the inner skin and velcro shut the backside of the bear.
Needless to say, the bears were a big hit. People loved stuffing them and then tossing them into the big bins we had set up behind the table (we learned from our catering friends not to place the bins on the outside because people will assume they are for trash. No one likes a chardonnay soaked bear.) There was an interesting impromptu sociological study that arose during the party. It was discovered that men tend to stuff their bears with as much fluff as possible, while women tended to stuff theirs less. The result - men's bears tended to look like weightlifters, with little rock hard arms and legs sticking out at 90-degree angles, while the women's were softer and floppier. Please note that this is not a scientific study, just an observation.
The second craft we offered was braided dog toys. These were made out of old t-shirts. Not only was it a useful gift, but it was a great recycling project as well. I have a video demo of this craft on YouTube. They came to mind right away, because they are super easy to do.
To make things easier for the guests we premade rolls of t-shirt yarn, as opposed to having our guests cut the t-shirts themselves. I learned how to make the yarn from this great site Mollie Makes. One note: we opted not to pull ours into strings but rather leave them as strips. This made for fuller dog toys. I don't have any sociological studies from this one. However, I just have to say, men can braid just as well as women.
When all was said and done there were over 400 donations created that night. Everyone who participated had a blast and was truly excited about the notion of their crafts being given to those who would truly appreciate them. Everyone had fun and walked away feeling good about what they had just done.
Not bad for a company party!