Dorothy Jacoby’s grandson, Robby, was distraught when her husband, Tom, died. The little boy, who was 7 at the time, cherished the man who used to play marbles with him, especially if they played with the one with the blue and red swirls.
Reasoning that Robby might feel comforted if he had something special to keep Grandpa close, Dorothy crafted a teddy bear out of her husband’s flannel shirt. Tucked inside the stuffed toy, right where the heart would be, she placed the marble.
The boy loved it — and an idea was born.
When the Lakeside Terrace Cozy Crafters group in Streetsboro began in 2009, Dorothy shared her idea, suggesting it might be one of the things the group could do to help the bereaved.
Typical of crafting groups, the ladies also make things like blankets, cancer hats, pillowcases and jewelry.
But the item that sticks out the most to me is their dolls. Though they donate most of their items to places like counseling offices, the Streetsboro Police Department, homeless shelters and hospitals to help anxious or sad children, they also make special-order dolls and bears.
If a child loses a mother, for instance, a family can contact the group and they will make the doll using the mother’s clothes, and stuff it with items that may have special meaning to the child. And if a child prefers, the doll’s eyes and hair can be made any color.
The cost of a special-made doll is between $15 and $20. Purchasing a bear only requires a donation.
These women are so eager to help in any way that they can, they even made sanitary napkins, stuffed with mattress pads and covered with flannel, so that they could be washed and reused, that were given to women in Haiti.
“I think we just all have a giving heart,” said Ronnie Puscian.
The jewelry they make is a way to raise a little cash for things like material, fleece, fiberfill, yarn and thread for the many items they give away. Of course, they are always looking for donations — monetary or sewing materials.
If you are interested in purchasing a special-order bear, doll or jewelry item, or know of someone in need and unable to pay for an item, contact Carol Clemente at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put “Cozy Crafters” in the subject line.
Wash away trafficking
Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises worldwide. Each year an estimated 1,078 Ohio-born children are trafficked, including underage victims currently residing in Summit County.
In response to this form of modern-day slavery, a grant from the Women’s Endowment Fund of the Akron Community Foundation is allowing the Summit County Collaborative Against Human Trafficking to host a S.O.A.P. (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution) event.
The S.O.A.P. project strives to educate Summit County hotel and motel managers about saving trafficked children who are often hidden in plain sight.
Adult volunteers are needed to distribute bars of soap to specified Summit County hotel managers.
Adults, in teams of four, will be asked to encourage hotel managers to replace current bars of soap with the new bars labeled with the National Human Trafficking Hotline phone number.
The event is being held at 1 p.m. July 27 at the Oasis facility, 847 Crouse St., Akron. Please register at http://bit.ly/1skkFi6. For more information, please contact Belinda Wing at belinda email@example.com.
Fun, needs and giving
• For the past 14 years, Victim Assistance Program has partnered with the Akron Police Department’s K.N.A.F.F. (Kids Need a Firm Foundation) Program to provide a day of fun for children.
The event is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 25 at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge, 2610 Ley Drive, Akron.
The picnic provides children (up to age 17 and accompanied by an adult) with a day of free food, music from KIDJAM! Radio, K-9 demonstrations, archery, fishing, fingerprinting by GASP (Guardians Advocating Child Safety and Protection), face painting and prizes while interacting with police officers.
Please call the Victim Assistance Program office, 330-376-0040, to make a reservation.
• It might seem early to start thinking about school, but it will be here before you know it. That’s why Summit County Children Services is once again asking for the community’s assistance to ensure that every child in agency care can begin the school year with supplies.
Each summer, more than 1,000 children in the care of Summit County Children Services are given backpacks filled with school supplies, thanks to the generosity of the community.
A donation of $25 will purchase a backpack and school supplies for elementary school children. A donation of $35 will provide essentials for a middle school or high school student, including a scientific calculator.
Monetary donations can be made online through PayPal at www.summit kids.org (click on Donor/Volunteer Opportunities and use the “Donate Now” button).
Individuals can also mail a donation to the agency, 264 S. Arlington St., Akron, 44306, in care of the Community Relations Department. Checks should be made payable to Summit County Children Services.
• A Falls Cares 5K run, walk and kids’ fun run will start at 8 a.m. July 26 at the First Christian Church, 2253 Third St., Cuyahoga Falls.
Pre-race entry fee for the 5K is $25 for adults and $15 for children; it’s $30 and $20 the day of the race.
There is a discount for families of three or more.
All of the fees help pay cancer-related doctor, hospital and pharmacy bills for patients registered with the Falls Cancer Club Inc., a nonprofit organization.