In celebration of Meep Day on June 22, Cherry Hill resident Elizabeth McDonald opened a “motel” at her home where people can choose a meep – colorful crocheted support orbs with little eyes – in the same way they borrow from a little free library.
“It was just kind of like a fun thing to bring the community together,” McDonald said. “A lot of people are like, ‘Should I leave something like a little library?’ No, you don’t have to leave anything,” she added. “You can just take a meep and hopefully it’ll make everybody happy.”
McDonald began making meeps a little more than a year ago and gave them out while she was making COVID masks and donating them to the Ronald McDonald House in Camden and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. McDonald likes the simplicity of the meeps, which take about 20 minutes each to make.
Within a week of sharing her Meep Motel on the township Facebook group page, McDonald has received an overwhelmingly positive response, with close to 800 likes and 150 comments. Since then, more people have come by to adopt one of her creations. Others have offered to donate yarn or money to keep the project going, and one woman discussed opening another Meep Motel on the other side of town.
“I think we’ve refilled it three times today, and it just keeps emptying,” McDonald marveled.
She got involved with the kindness movement All You Meep is Love in June of last year after seeing a Facebook post about it. Once McDonald became a “meep maker,” she created about 400 of them for classmates at her kids’ school and continues to give others away. Meep makers agree not to sell the pattern.
“It’s just about trying to spread love, healing and kindness,” creator Maura Moore explained. “Because people were asking for the pattern and I was like, ‘Yeah, sure, I’ll share the pattern so other people can make them too.’ Because I started to quickly not be able to keep up with how many people wanted them.”
Moore originally created the meep in 2019. Though she once referred to it as a “black hole” to hold heavy things – or a “sunshine” to help raise peoples’ spirits – the meep was named by one of Moore’s students, who had borrowed one to help with anxiety.
“Meeps were all about my healing process and trying to take some really bad stuff that happened and turn it into something beautiful,” Moore explained. “I have this slogan, ‘Watch me make it beautiful.’”
Moore shared that Meep Day takes place on a hard anniversary connected to the first person to whom she gave one of her creations. Rather than focusing on that pain, she wanted the day to be one of celebration and encouraged meep makers to create more of the orbs and put them out in the world.
“(Meep Day) is about celebrating this idea that we can go through really hard times in our lives and we can take what we’ve lived through and what we’ve learned and make it a celebration instead of focusing on what was hard and painful,” Moore said.
To learn more about All You Meep is Love or how to become a meep maker, visit https://allyoumeepislove.com. For more on the Meep Motel, contact Elizabeth McDonald at email@example.com.