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Project Sunshine – Sew For Children In Need

Recently I had the pleasure of working on a very special sewing project for a wonderful children’s charity called Project Sunshine. In short, they are an international organization whose mission, by the simplest definition, is to bring happiness to children facing medical challenges and long hospital stays. Are you intrigued? Well then allow me elaborate by sharing their story, what their mission entails, and how you can help through sewing.


“Project Sunshine is a nonprofit organization that provides free educational, recreational, and social programs to children facing medical challenges and their families. Project Sunshine empowers a dynamic and dedicated corps of over 15,000 volunteers to bring programming – recreational, educational, and social service – to 100,000 children facing medical challenges and their families in 175 cities across the United States and in four international locations: Canada, China, Israel and Kenya.

One of their many volunteer programs includes its Sending Sunshine program where volunteers assemble items that are sent out to 250 medical facility partners.  One of the most requested items by hospitals are “Surgi Dolls”.

Surgi Dolls are blank cloth dolls that help children prepare for surgery and other medical procedures. Child Life Specialists or doctors may demonstrate where an incision will be made or what body parts will be treated by drawing or using play medical tools on the Surgi Doll. The dolls are left blank so that each child can color, decorate, and make the doll his or her own. Children are able to keep the doll as a companion through their hospital stay.”


Here is where you and I enter the picture: Project Sunshine is looking for experienced sewers who are interested in forming a chapter (a group of 3 or more) to make Surgi Dolls for children in need. Sewing Chapters will make dolls multiple times a year (monthly to every few months), and Project Sunshine will provide all of the supplies (thread, fabric, patterns, stuffing, instructions, etc…). All you need to do is set aside a little time to sew for an incredible cause.

If this sounds like the kind of sewing you’d like to get involved with, please contact (with “Project Sunshine – Surgi Dolls” in the subject line) and let them know you’d like to help.


Put your sewing (or knitting!) skills to good use and send a little sunshine to a child who needs it.


  • So cool! Thanks for sharing about this!

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  • This is such an excellent, worthwhile cause – and the dolls are a sweet, important idea. I think they could be of use to children’s hospitals and wards the whole world over. Really, not only just for children, but for adults in some circumstances, too.

    I commend you so much on the work you’re doing for Project Sunshine, dear Rochelle. I am certain your dolls will make each child they end up in the hands feel a whole lot better.

    ♥ Jessica

  • Pat

    I don’t have a group to work with, but I e-mailed them anyways. What good is having a gift for sewing if you can’t share it with someone.

  • Do you know if it’s open to overseas? I’m trying to find that info on the web with no success.

    • Hi Elena Knits,

      My name is Mariko and I work for Project Sunshine. Thank you for your question regarding our international programming. Would you mind sharing where you’re located overseas? We have a few international sites, but wanted to see where you were located first.

      Thank you!


      • I live in Spain. Thanks!

        • Hi Elena Knits,

          Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Project Sunshine. Unfortunately, we don’t have any Sending Sunshine volunteer opportunities in Spain at this time. If you ever find yourself in the United States, we’d loved to get you involved!


  • Awesome! I will e-mail right away, I very much want to participate.

  • Tina C.

    I know no one down here in Miami but would definitely be interested in participating. An emailing.

    • Erika

      Hi Tina,
      I am located in Miami as well and just sent an email. Maybe we can figure out something together.

  • What a wonderful organization, how great you are sewing with them. I’m going to have to see if I can get some folks together to help sew!