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It's June! Come Volunteer with HappyDoll

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Happy Summer, everyone!

To kick off the summer, we're holding a doll stuffing volunteer session with AHRC on June 7th.  If you're interested in joining us, please get in touch by emailing info@happydoll.org by Thursday (June 6th).

This past weekend was full of excitement. Do you remember our last collaboration with MIKI HOUSE? This event was such a huge success that we were offered to work with them again at Bloomingdale's San Francisco Centre last Saturday!

The decorated dolls were donated to the children at Hamilton Family Center, a non-profit organization that supports healthy development of children and youth experiencing homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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A big thanks to the fashionista kids and their parents for visiting the Miki House HappyDoll booth.

By the way, June is volunteer month at Morgan Stanley New York office and we've got the following stuffing sessions lined up. Shoot us an email if you would like to join us for any of these dates:

June 13th: 4-6pm

June 14th: 2-5pm

June 19th: 2-5pm

June 21st: 2-5pm

June 26th: 12-2pm

June 28th: 12:30-2:30pm

We have more volunteer opportunities! JUST ASK.

Stay tuned because we’ve got more exciting news coming your way…

-Help lift the spirits of children in need by donating to happydoll.org-

HappyDoll Sister Ambassadors

HappyDoll and MUFG Honor Children of Newtown In January, HappyDoll worked on a collaborative project with The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, UFJ by holding a special HappyDoll session in honor of the victims of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.  Children of employees decorated 17 beautiful HappyDolls in memory of the young children who had lost their lives.

HappyDoll Sandy Hook

The dolls sponsored by the employees were generously matched by the bank, enabling HappyDoll to double the number of dolls that will be donated around the world.

Our collaboration with The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, UFJ doesn't end here.  Last summer, we met our volunteer, Kiran Borra, and her two daughters at at the Take Your Children to Work Day hosted by the bank.

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 The Borra sisters, Kavya and Nithya, had such a great time stuffing the HappyDolls that they have volunteered to become HappyDoll Ambassadors  by delivering the dolls themselves to children facing hardships.  The sisters will travel to India this summer to visit their parents' homeland and donate the dolls on behalf of the bank. We can't wait to hear what kind of adventure they will have in India!

We are also excited to announce that HappyDoll has been invited by The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, UFJ to participate at their Take Your Children to Work Day again this year.

Stay tuned because we'll follow these young ambassadors and update you on their journey!

-Help lift the spirits of children in need by donating to happydoll.org-

Be Inspired. Be an Inspiration.

~HAPPYDOLL.ORG X BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF HUDSON COUNTY~ SONY DSC

(from left: Our volunteer, Andy An; Director of Development of the Boys & Girls Club, Wycliffe Daniels; Founder & Executive Director, Nozomi Terao; and our new intern, Travis Hill)

Last week, we had a very special HappyDoll event with the children affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Our new volunteer Travis, who is currently studying social entrepreneurship at NYU, was able to join us!

We asked him to share his experience with you:

"On Tuesday, March 26th, I traveled to Hoboken, New Jersey to connect with the Boys and Girls Club of Hudson County and a non-profit called HappyDoll. During the visit, nearly 70 boys and girls decorated HappyDolls and then generously donated them to other children around the world. Early on in the event, however, it became clear that this was much more than just an exchange of dolls.

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From the outset, the beauty of diversity was highlighted by the children’s interest in the different dolls from across the globe. The dolls from Uganda, Japan, and Honduras received particular attention with the children of the Boys and Girls Club wanting to learn more about the cultures of these newly discovered places.

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Additionally, the children that had already been exposed to these cultures were able to offer their insights into these exciting locations. One boy in particular informed his peers that he used to live in France and wanted to write a message in French on the back of the doll. Several other children encouraged him and they each became excited to talk about and share the stories of their families.

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It seemed that on a local level, the decoration process brought out a sense of both collaboration and diversity because the designs were a reflection of these unique and remarkable young people. When a child complimented a doll’s design, he or she was complimenting the child who made it. Considering that sharing and diversity played such an important role in thinking about the designs, everyone was proud to display these self-reflections.

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Wycliffe Daniels, the Director of Development at the Boys and Girls Club commented that he saw kids within the Club making new interactions with each other as well. Youth of different ages and different schools worked together, inspiring one another’s designs and fostering curiosity.

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As a college student, my peers and I are often guilty of closing our minds even in our pursuit of higher education. It is tempting to think that we know it all and that the world is a limited place. But being around these fresh and brilliant minds reminded me of what learning and experiencing is all about. I was astonished by how insightful and motivated these young people were. It was refreshing being around students that were so eager to learn and that were so confident in their questioning.

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The most profound moment, however, was the final “Bon Voyage” ceremony. These young artists had put so much of themselves into their designs that giving the dolls up was a highly emotional moment. Even the older children, who had been more reserved at the beginning of the session, wanted to keep and show off their dolls. But in the end, they courageously decided to pass on their dolls to other children whom they had never met. This act of generosity demonstrated the children’s ability to think in the context of a global community. By giving up their dolls without expecting anything in return, they acknowledged the value in helping others prosper.

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Selfless giving often creates moments of unexpected good. For the children at the Boys and Girls Club, this moment came thanks to the kindness of the first graders at the Girls Prep Lower East Side Elementary School.

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In January, the girls themselves participated with HappyDoll in decorating 74 dolls with the intention of giving them to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. These dolls came as a welcomed surprise to the Boys and Girls Club, who were then given the opportunity to experience a fuller perspective of giving in the most genuine sense of the word."

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We hope Travis' experience gave you an insight into what HappyDoll.org is about!

This event was covered by the local media, The Jersey Journal, took some wonderful photos.

Finally, we would like to send a BIG THANK YOU to the Boys & Girls Club of Hudson County, to the Double Tree Hotel and their volunteers for providing snacks to the children, to our volunteers (Andy and Travis), and last but not the least, to all the children for sharing their creativity and love.

Stay tuned because we’ve got more exciting events coming your way…

-Help lift the spirits of children in need by donating to happydoll.org-

HappyDolls take Manhattan!

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HappyDolls take Manhattan!
On March 9th, we had a special collaborative event with Miki House USA at their store in Bloomingdale's New York!
The event was a huge success with many children visiting the store and creating their very special one-of-a-kind HappyDolls.
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Wouldn't you like to see them in person? Well, it's your lucky day!
These lovely dolls are being displayed on the 8th floor of Bloomingdale's New York,
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AND at the lobby of Child Mind Institute (56th street between Lex & Park) which you will be able to see through the window.
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Take this  opportunity to shop at Bloomingdale's and walk over to 56th street to check out the inspiring HappyDolls decorated by New York kids before the end of the display in mid-April!
When the display is over, the dolls will travel to children across the globe--Wish them bon voyage!
(See here for our last event at Bloomingdale's Aventura in Miami. )
 
Stay tuned because we’ve got more exciting events coming your way…
-Help lift the spirits of children in need by donating to happydoll.org-