My two favourite words! And so today I bring you a favourite "local" project that is all about community and connection.... and craft.
Every October time we attend a local school fair. My kids love it and harass me about it for many months. Their questions are always the same. Can we go? And how much spending money do we get?
The answers are yes! and $20. More than we would normally give them for such an event, but in this case we know that about half that money will be ethically spent....
Now why they love this particular fair is multi-faceted. They love that we get to meet up with so many family friends and probably that they get to hoon around all day with very little in the way of parental supervision. They love the activities, the singing, the pop-up op-shop, the food, the craft ..... but the thing that they do every year without fail is they buy monkeys. One monkey per child per year.
Happily Made Monkeys are now a tradition of the fair for us, and over the years, they have become part of our family. They are ethically made and super sweet, with magnets in their hands which make them unlike any other soft toy they own. Magnets mean they are a versatile pet.
I often find one of them attached to a potplant or curled up in a kid's bed. They get stuck to pin boards and attached to the fridge. They are always cuddling and are by far my kid's all time favourite soft toys. These monkeys have been part of our family for many years now and you will find them being flung at our old-school metal screen door in a game of "who can stick the highest monkey". They are often seen having a whale of a time roaming around our house.
And the great thing about them is that they are all about the love.
The lovely, clever and indomitable Veronica who runs Happily Made Monkeys is a friend of a friend. When I ran into her the other day, she shared that the organisation who makes the monkeys for her in Cambodia, have finally grown to the stage that they can start paying for their worker's kids to go to school. I love the project so much that I thought I would share it here.
Cambodia Knits are a social enterprise who employ home based knitters in Cambodia to make soft toys and finger puppets. Their crowdfunding campaign - selling Sleepy Snoogus' - pays for education for the knitters children. One Snoogus = 1 month of schooling.
For me this project is connection, community and craft rolled into one. So go check them out. They make great gifts - we always keep a few in our present box as they are the perfect unisex multi-age present - and your purchase of them helps make the world a better place.
And the best place to contact Veronica direct about monkeys is via the Happily Made Monkey facebook page.