Rachel's Christmas project

Alisha Morrissey
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She's hoping to raise $1 million in donations for the Janeway

Rachel Moss's letter to Santa starts by her telling him how busy she's been this year trying to help the children at the Janeway.

Rachel has raised nearly $10,000 for the children's hospital in St. John's in the last year with her after-school arts and crafts project -more than $1,600 on the Christmas project alone.

Julianne Moss hangs an ornament on a tree inside Twisted Sisters Boutik, while her sister Rachel decides which ornament she wants to hang. The sisters' project making plastic magnets and ornaments for donations. - Photo by Alisha Morrissey/The Telegram

Rachel Moss's letter to Santa starts by her telling him how busy she's been this year trying to help the children at the Janeway.

Rachel has raised nearly $10,000 for the children's hospital in St. John's in the last year with her after-school arts and crafts project -more than $1,600 on the Christmas project alone.

Along with her sister, Julianne and her friend Sarah Sparkes, the three spend their afternoons making ornaments, many of which have travelled all over North America and have even made it to Japan and military installations in Afghanistan.

They even sent ornaments in with their letters to Santa, so he could see what they've been up to.

Rachel, wearing a fur-trimmed, green velvet dress, hangs her handmade ornaments on a gold-wire Christmas tree inside Twisted Sisters Boutik on Water Street in St. John's.

Julianne, in a matching snowflake-speckled, red velvet dress, hangs a plastic ornament and tilts her head to examine it better.

"It's beautiful," the little girl coos to no one in particular.

"No, hang them like this," Rachel says to her sister.

The two bounce back and forth from the tree displays to their cousin's golden retriever who's hanging out in the shop before opening.

The colourful plastic ornaments fit in with the quirky giftware and bright shades of the shoes and boots in the shop.

Finally the girls' mother Suzette stops Rachel mid-bound and explains to her that her cousin, Tennille, who's a partner in the store has promised to match all the donations people make there.

"Wow," Rachel whispers, her eyes wide.

"We thought she would have gotten bored with it," Suzette says, after Rachel and her sister take off to climb under a table to get to a window display to hang more ornaments.

Both girls say they're anxious to hang their ornaments on their own Christmas tree.

Since starting the project nearly a year ago, they've made hundreds, maybe even thousands of the plastic decorations, with the three girls assembling the plastic beads on patterned boards and Suzette ironing them and hot-gluing magnets on the back or stringing plastic loops through the tops to make ornaments.

Last year Rachel donated $8,300 to the Janeway hospital's annual telethon - all raised by selling the magnets on a per-donation basis.

Nearly a half-million beads later, Rachel's dad Bradley says the family hasn't used the kitchen island since the project started.

There are currently 700 ornaments taking up residence at the family's house.

Rachel says it wasn't weird to be making snowmen in June, because that's when the company that makes the beads she uses sent her 50,000 more beads and Christmas pegboards for free.

The production line ran in the Moss family kitchen every rainy day this summer, Suzette confirms. Days off from school are also filled with beads and busy little girls.

And Rachel already has another top-secret project in the works for next year.

"It's a surprise," she says, refusing to spill the beans until next year.

Until then, Rachel has upped her original goal.

When she started, she was thinking she'd get about $100 in donations, now she thinks she can make it to $1 million.

Anyone interested in making donations to the project can e-mail rachelsspecialproject@yahoo.ca or visit her at Costco in St. John's between 2-4 p.m. Saturday.

amorrissey@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Janeway, Janeway hospital, Costco

Geographic location: St. John's, North America, Japan Afghanistan Water Street

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Recent comments

  • Sarah
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    It's inspiring to see such good in these young girls. I think it's worth mentioning that they must have fantastic parents to have such values. Though the parents are complete strangers to me, I'd like to say 'Good job!'.

  • Victoria
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    I couldn't be more proud of you girls, I hope you reach your goal secretly I already know you will. With Rayden in and out of therpy I've seen alot I mean alot of sick kids and other kids with terrible challenges you are making a HUGE difference in their lives and the mommys and daddys lives. We love you both so very much.

  • Heather
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    These girls are destined for greatness!

  • Suzanne
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    Congratulations Rachel & Julianne on making it to the front page of The Telegram once again. I am so proud & happy for both of you. It fills my heart with joy just to know that my great-niece could come up with such a wonderful idea to raise money for the Janeway and then to share this idea with her younger sister Julianne. I cannot express enough the feeling I have in my heart for both of you right now. I hope & pray that your goal,Rachel,of reaching $1 million will be accomplished. God bless you both & also your mommy & daddy. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you all. Keep up the good work girls.

  • Kay
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    What a wonderful Christmas story about two little girls who want to make a difference. I hope you reach your goal.

  • Marilyn
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    You girsl make my heart sing! Great Auntie is so-o-o-o proud of you both. Merry Christmas and keep the momentum going.

  • Stephanie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Rachel and julianne are doing an amazing job. Keep up the good work. Congrats on making it to the front page of the paper.

  • Tanya
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    This is what the true meaning of Christmas is all about. Keep up the amazing work girls!

  • Nori
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    The generous spirit of these two little girls is a wonderful example of how small gestures can have great impact. Be the change you wish to see in the world!

  • Essie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Congratulations! A front page story worth reading. Can't wait to see what your next project will be. Very inspiring.

  • Kristy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Fantastic!!!

  • Kristen
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    What a great thing you girls continue to do! There are so many people who are very proud of you...including me! Keep up the good work!

  • Julia
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    These two beautiful little girls should be an inspiration to all of us!! They are so tiny, yet their hearts are so big.

    Well done girls!! and Happy Holidays!!

  • Sarah
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    It's inspiring to see such good in these young girls. I think it's worth mentioning that they must have fantastic parents to have such values. Though the parents are complete strangers to me, I'd like to say 'Good job!'.

  • Victoria
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    I couldn't be more proud of you girls, I hope you reach your goal secretly I already know you will. With Rayden in and out of therpy I've seen alot I mean alot of sick kids and other kids with terrible challenges you are making a HUGE difference in their lives and the mommys and daddys lives. We love you both so very much.

  • Heather
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    These girls are destined for greatness!

  • Suzanne
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    Congratulations Rachel & Julianne on making it to the front page of The Telegram once again. I am so proud & happy for both of you. It fills my heart with joy just to know that my great-niece could come up with such a wonderful idea to raise money for the Janeway and then to share this idea with her younger sister Julianne. I cannot express enough the feeling I have in my heart for both of you right now. I hope & pray that your goal,Rachel,of reaching $1 million will be accomplished. God bless you both & also your mommy & daddy. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you all. Keep up the good work girls.

  • Kay
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    What a wonderful Christmas story about two little girls who want to make a difference. I hope you reach your goal.

  • Marilyn
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    You girsl make my heart sing! Great Auntie is so-o-o-o proud of you both. Merry Christmas and keep the momentum going.

  • Stephanie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Rachel and julianne are doing an amazing job. Keep up the good work. Congrats on making it to the front page of the paper.

  • Tanya
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    This is what the true meaning of Christmas is all about. Keep up the amazing work girls!

  • Nori
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    The generous spirit of these two little girls is a wonderful example of how small gestures can have great impact. Be the change you wish to see in the world!

  • Essie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    Congratulations! A front page story worth reading. Can't wait to see what your next project will be. Very inspiring.

  • Kristy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Fantastic!!!

  • Kristen
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    What a great thing you girls continue to do! There are so many people who are very proud of you...including me! Keep up the good work!

  • Julia
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    These two beautiful little girls should be an inspiration to all of us!! They are so tiny, yet their hearts are so big.

    Well done girls!! and Happy Holidays!!