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Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Leggings Project...And Some Monsters, Too

Last summer, my sister-in-law introduced to me to Kendra of the Calling All Angels blog. She had just moved to Tri-Cities from Utah. I had read her blog before and was familiar with her story about her sweet daughter, Makenzie, who died of SMARD when she was only 5 months old.  I had been impressed with her strength, with her realness, and her honesty that she portrayed in her blog.  Having got to know her over the last several months I can actually say I am blown away by Kendra's strength, her endurance, the way she makes every moment count, the sweet mother she is, her loyalty in friendship, the service oriented way she lives her life...all of it and more.  She is such an incredible person and I am so very thankful to call her my friend.

Every year Kendra gathers donations for her Leggings Project.  She collects baby leggings (and a few other things) all year long for infants in the PICU and then donates everything she collects to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City.  (You can read more about the Leggings Project and how to make them HERE.)  She has donated thousands of leggings since Makenzie died and continues to do so.

A few months ago she approached me about helping her out a little and doing something in honor of Olivia and her story.  I jumped at the chance to give back, help out, and maybe make a sick child smile.  We came up with the idea of making little monster dolls, something lovable, something to snuggle, something bright, and maybe a little silly.  My twist was to make them one-eyed, give them an eye patch, or make the eyes different in honor of Olivia's battle with retinoblastoma.  There is a lot that makes Livi unique (and wonderful!) and her eye is something I want her to be brave about, have a sense of humor about, and be totally open about.

I spent a week in Utah with my grandma and two of my aunts making monsters (and some dolls and some puppies.  Honestly, anything associated with Livi SHOULD have a puppy somewhere.) And this is what we came up with.

This is what I hope is just the beginning.  We want and need your help!  We want this to be the biggest and best year for the Leggings Project yet.  Everything collected until June will go to Seattle Children's Hospital and everything after that will go to Primary Children's Hospital.  Help us with leggings or little monsters!  It's such a good cause.  You can't imagine the difference these kinds of things make, not just to the kids, but to the parents.  You would shoot the moon if it meant a little sunshine, comfort, and warmth to your sick child in the hospital.

The leggings are simple and easy to make.  Kendra has step by step directions HERE.   Can't sew?  Send us the socks, we will make them.  As for the monsters, there is no right or wrong way to do them, just give them one eye, wonky eyes, one eye and the other eye a star or heart or any other shape.  Get creative!  We tried a few different patterns we found for free online and tweaked them a bit.  We did figure out that THESE little guys made with felt were pretty easy, were just top stitched (no turning required!), and fast.  You can mix and match everything she has and they all turned out adorable.  We are trying to come up with a few more simple patterns and I will post them when we do.  Again, if you can't sew send us material and we will make them, or send us the bodies made and we will stuff and finish them.  Kendra also collects blankets, hats, and books as well.  Donations do not have to be big or grand to make a difference.  Even one pair of leggings makes a difference.

Spread the word, tell your crafty friends, tell your grandma!  This is such a good service project for church groups, youth groups, a service-oriented girls night, even an Eagle Scout project! (Ok, that might be pushing it, but maybe not!)

I am so excited about this! I am excited to share Makenzie's and Olivia's stories.  I am excited to teach Olivia to give back and teach her about service.  If we can help put a smile on even one child's face, I'm happy.

If you have any questions or need to know where to send items please email me at juliedecoria@gmail.com or Kendra at livingformrw@hotmail.com


  1. I am Kendra's Aunt Mary. Her husband Ryan is my sister Becky's son. I know what an amazing woman, mother, friend, niece, and person Kendra is but you sound equally as wonderful. It is always an honor to help with the Leggins project but it will be fun and an equal honor to help with the Monsters project. I don't sew all that well but I'll give it my best shot. I can't imagine how difficult the trials you've been through but you sound strong and determined to not let life beat you down. Your children will undoubtedly bring you the most joy. Keep smiling for them and for you cute husband, keep being strong for yourself and them, keep your head held high and be the very best you can be. I like the saying "you never know how strong you are until it is the only option you have." I don't know your heartaches but I've had a lifetime of my own but I have found that helping others and staying strong makes my life worth living and helps me know that to some people, I am their everything. You are everything to your family and friends who I'm sure love you so so much. I'm glad Kendra found a friend in you. it's KISMET!!