It is truly eye-opening to consider the number of things we take for granted in this world and don’t think to question. But some do dare to ask the questions that lead to a better status quo. In response to a need for improved inclusivity for children going through difficult medical and physical challenges, Amy Jandrisevits founded nonprofit A Doll Like Me with the mission to create very special dolls that mirror the loving children who will own them.
Dolls With A Purpose
During her career as a pediatric oncology social worker, Amy used play therapy to help children intellectually and emotionally adjust to hospitalizations and medical procedures. Dolls served as an integral part, helping build the skills necessary to work through stressful, scary, and out-of-control feelings by providing comfort and validation.
The concept is that many children are able to see themselves in (and relate to) dolls used in therapy, but for many other children, this is not possible. Stores rarely stock shelves with dolls displaying scars, birthmarks, limb differences, skin coloring, medical equipment, or any other unique characteristic representing inclusivity for children.
Amy took the problem into her own hands – literally. With a deep understanding that being able to see oneself in the face of a doll means everything to a child and reinforces their ability to face the world, Amy founded A Doll Like Me, heartwarmingly carrying out it’s mission to provide the dolls for children who have never had the opportunity to see themselves represented in mainstream toys. She handmakes each unique doll from scratch, crafted to look exactly like the child who will receive it down to every last detail.
Lighting the way to inclusivity for children and all
When ilumino met A Doll Like Me we immediately connected with their mission and focus on the bigger picture, which resonates with our own vision for lighting the path to accessibility. Just as Amy believes that every child should have the opportunity to love a doll that is a representation of themselves, we believe that children and adults alike should be able to access the digital world without barriers. As Amy says, “it is our responsibility to make sure that everyone has a place at the table”.
ilumino has partnered with the A Doll Like Me charity to help spread the global mission to change the narrative of how we see each other and to help promote an inclusive world in every respect.
Inclusivity for children one doll at a time
For each new client that chooses to work with us, ilumino will donate a doll for a child. We share Amy’s belief that families of recipients should not have to shoulder these costs, and in this way, we are helping to make a meaningful difference in each child’s life. Our hope is that one day, all dolls will be funded through donations and all children will feel included.
You can make direct contributions through A Doll Like Me’s GoFundMe Page.