Friday, April 17, 2009

Hayley- Designer Toy

CAUSE: Youth Homelessness
It is estimated that over 160,000 Australians experience homelessness every year. One third of those are children. My designer toy has made it his goal to raise enough money to rent or buy a home where kids like him can get support, a bed, food and clothing. He is working hard in the homeless community to get the money, being their spokesperson in the city in which they live.

HIS STORY: This boy's parent died when he was a toddler and he had no known living relatives that could care for him. He was then put into a foster home where he had been abused for a number of years by older kids who were living with him. After being through so many trials already in his short life, at the age of 6, he felt strong enough to run away from the home and turn to the streets. Being so young, he was taken in by a group of kind homeless men and women and cared for by them. He came to view these people as his family, since he never knew any of his own. One woman in particular took him under her wing and he came to see her as his mother. He felt lucky and was happy in his life.
Many kids who may have been in his position may have grown bitter and turned to crime to survive. My character, however, used his life experiences to help him grow as a person, and under the nurturing eye of his "mother" became a humble and unselfish 13 year old. His motivation is to give back to the homeless community for the love he has received from it.
Helping younger and less-experienced homeless kids gives him purpose in life. He wants to provide the same opportunities for love and acceptance that he got.
He wants to help others before himself, often sharing food and giving away his minimal possessions to less fortunate homeless youth.

PERSONALITY: My character is the lovable scamp of the story. He has very little reason to look at the positive side of life, yet manages to always be upbeat and caring. Being the mascot for the entire homeless youth community, and dealing with people from the mainstream world, he keeps himself well-presented. Only having access to second hand, found clothing sometimes makes this difficult, but because he is so focused on his goal he makes it happen.
Loved by his peers and non-threatening to outsiders, he gets a lot accomplished in his mission.

  • Age-13
  • Hair- Light brown
  • Clothing- Shorts and a t-shirt. A bit tattered and worn but still neat. He takes care in his appearance as much as his environment allows.
  • Shoes- Worn sneakers but obviously been cleaned regularly.
  • Hat- Multi-colored cap. Maybe with a spinner on top.
  • Skin Color- White. Australian boy. This is to emphasize the fact that "everyday" youth are part of the homelessness problem.
MATERIALS: In keeping with the theme of second-hand clothing etc, my character will be made with used/ second-hand fabrics. It will be a stuffed doll, mainly hand sewn so that the stitches are visible. I would like to use a variety of fabrics so it gets a patchwork appearance. My characters life has been a series of good and bad experiences all sewn together with hope, love and positivity. I would like the construction to reflect this.
To make the toy movable I will insert pliable wire under the stuffing so that the toy can be moved into different positions i.e. sitting etc.

Homeless Humphrey- Peace loving guardian, peaceful home.
Helmut the Homeless- Courageous warrior
Homeless Herbert- Brilliant warrior
Howard the Homeless- Watcher, guardian

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