At Zazzle, we pair the Dreamers with the Makers. The result? Products that are as unique as the people who order them.
We ship thousands of these unique products on a daily basis and often think to ourselves, “I wonder where this is going?” or, “I would love to see the person’s face as they open this gift!” and even, if we’re being totally honest here, sometimes, “What on Earth? There has to be an epic story behind this one.”
All of these wonderings inspired us to start the #zazzlemade campaign and your response has been tremendous! From messenger bags in Mississippi to pillows in Peru, we’re receiving stories from all over the world and absolutely love seeing where Zazzle products find their homes. We will be selecting some of these stories to share with you on a weekly basis and hope that you enjoy them as much as we do.
Mia Rowan and Nicole Dow-Macosky
Student and Teacher, Partners in Project Chemo Crochet
“Until this August, I was a high school math teacher outside of Philadelphia PA. My mother, Marianne, was also an elementary teacher for over 30 years. I tell you this because it is an integral part of the story. On November 6, 2012, my mother died following a courageous 11 month battle with breast cancer. 2 months after her death, trying to deal with the loss of my best friend & mom, I began Project Chemo Crochet. Project Chemo Crochet is a way to show support to others battling cancer through the comfort and warmth of crocheted blankets. Each blanket contains 24 crochet squares made by individuals from 45 US states and even Canada. Each blanket is then shipped to someone in the world who is battling cancer as a gift of strength, support, and love. Every time a Project Chemo Crochet product is sold on Zazzle, the royalties go towards the cost of shipping these cancer support blankets around the world. For example, today I shipped a blanket to a 2 year old boy named Logan in England who is battling kidney cancer. The cost of shipping the blanket to him was $25.76.
Mia Rowan was a student of mine 2 years ago when she was a sophomore. At that time Project Chemo Crochet was something I was doing outside of school hours. It was my way of staying connected to my mom through crochet and continuing to support those with cancer as I had done with my mom. I had spoken with Mia and others about this project as it was gaining some attention in our community. Mia was personally touched by what I was doing and jumped right in to help.
After some personal reasons, my family and I decided to move cross country from PA to CA. This meant that I was going to be unable to continue my work integrating Project Chemo Crochet this coming school year. Mia, who is now a senior at Hatboro-Horsham High School, stepped up to the plate and began a Project Chemo Crochet student club in my absence. The particular picture which you commented was showing off her Project Chemo Crochet swag for her first meeting (that I so proudly was able to attend via Skype). Mia IS amazing, as her Instragram handle implies. To see her take on the same passion as I have for Project Chemo Crochet is simply astonishing and awe-inspiring.”
“Two years ago when I was in tenth grade, I had Mrs. Nicole Dow-Macosky as my math teacher. Mrs. Dow had to watch her mother go through breast cancer, but she always considered her mother a Pink Warrior. Even though her mother lost her fight, my teacher knew the battle should continue. She turned the fight into something that would keep her mother’s spirit alive and help others going through the battle. She truly inspired me not only as a teacher, but as an individual too.
At the time I was in her class, a special person close to me was battling cancer. That year when Mrs. Dow created Project Chemo Crochet (PCC), in honor of her mother, I had never touched a crochet hook in my life. Watching someone close to me go through chemotherapy and always having a smile on her face was amazing to me. I was compelled and inspired to learn how to crochet, so I could help make a difference too.
Each blanket created by the volunteers represents hours of love and support. After I requested a blanket for my friend she was featured on the PCC website. The biggest moment that impacted me happened when I saw how grateful she was that 24 strangers wanted to show their support through stitching squares for a blanket. My desire to help grew deeper. I sadly lost my friend to cancer too. The spark my teacher started still blazes within me.
Mrs. Dow has since moved to California and I knew she wanted to start a club for PCC, but no longer could. I took the initiative this year to start a Project Chemo Crochet Club at my high school. I am honored to have the chance to share this project with so many other students by teaching them how to crochet the squares. I am proud to say that so far 50 students have joined the club. PCC has been a part of my life for two years now and I can confidently say that it will be an important aspect of my future. I will continue to crochet squares, stitch blankets together, and spread the word to others by wearing my #zazzlemade shirts!”
Editor’s note: Please visit projectchemocrochet.com for more information on this outstanding outreach! To view their Project Chemo Crochet Zazzle store, click here.
What’s your #zazzlemade story?