People online have asked me, “Why do you give away your doll clothes and patterns?”
I have two reasons for this.
First, when I die and meet my maker (hopefully quite some time from now), I want to leave behind a significant legacy: knowledge of how to sew doll clothes that will inspire creativity and a love of literature in children and young adults.
Second, when my books are released, I want to earn enough money to make a positive difference in the world, by donating ten percent of the proceeds to The Victoria Foundation of Arizona. The founder of The Victoria Foundation, Pete Garcia, is my uncle. I’ve watched him work in philanthropic endeavors over the years, so I know his organization is one I can trust. The Victoria Foundation of Arizona provides scholarships to the Latino community.
Both my completed YA novel and the children’s nonfiction project I’ve been working on have Latina main characters, and being a teacher-turned-librarian who works in a largely Hispanic community, I see the need for more books with Latina characters. During the 20+ years that I’ve been teaching English, whenever I would take my students to the library, the girls would describe the kinds of books they loved. I could find such a book for each girl, but they never had Latina protagonists. So I wrote the books my students really, really, really wanted to read.
I will donate ten percent of the proceeds from my books to The Victoria Foundation of Arizona because I educate Latinos, and I know, first-hand, there is a need for scholarships.
So I give away my patterns and my doll clothes, in the hope that one day my followers will share my passion for education, buy one of my books, and in doing so, help to support The Victoria Foundation with funding for scholarships.
If by some great fluke of the universe, the books I write should prosper, I will continue to offer free patterns, free sewing tutorials, and I will always find a good cause (preferably an education-related one) to share my financial blessings. More than anything, I want to make a positive difference in the world. Sharing my passion for sewing, free of charge, is one great way to do that.
UPDATE: In October, 2015, the Lammily LLC doll company contacted me, asking me to design some winter clothes for their lovely doll. I accepted their offer, and now you can purchase Chelly Wood’s winter ensemble patterns for your Lammily dolls. As this was a paid venture, in keeping with my promise, I’ve donated a keyboard to Mr. McCarty’s music classes at Wendell School District in Wendell, Idaho. Here’s a picture of a few of his students with their new keyboard: