Keele and Megan met at Fort Irwin, the Army National Training Center in the middle of the Mojave Desert in California. If anyone has been there, they will know that it is dubbed ‘The Island” as the closest town is 36 miles away. Fort Irwin is deemed one of the hardest (top five) duty stations in the ARMY to call home. Through their friendship, Keele and Megan found ‘comfort’ and ‘family’ in a place that some people refer to as: ‘lonely, desolate, depressing and sometimes, The Moon’. Together they found joy and a silver lining: desert friends that made all the difference.
PCS and relocation hit them. The ‘see ya laters’ are the hardest. Families hold onto the hope knowing the military world is small; and you will see each other or be stationed together again. In other words; you NEVER say goodbye.
Two and a half years later, Keele and Megan found themselves both stationed in another desert; together, once again. When their families reunited it was like no time had passed and life seemed to pick up where it left off.
Within a few months, Keele, Megan and their boys had to say “see ya later” to their soldiers as they left for a 9-month deployment. Deployments are never easy! This is when the rubber hits the road for ‘friends’ that become family. Together, they are a comfort and stability for each other, and their children are their ‘friends’ who make deployments easier. Through these experiences, they realized they had something that not everyone is fortunate enough to have. They realized they HAD to make a difference.
When deciding to design the Logo and branding, it only made sense to name the dolls ‘Desert Island Friends”. Their friendship had blossomed in an isolated and desolate environment and has continued to thrive. If you have been in or know anybody in the military, it is made up of acronyms and it is a completely different language. They realized that Desert Island Friends made up its own acronym “DIF’; fitting right into place.
Making a ‘DIF’ference has become their mission. Little by little, they are reaching little ones across the world and providing extra comfort when those tough times come. Not only do these special friends provide comfort for the many children longing for their deployed family members; but those that are caring for them get a bit of relief in the joy that their child feels as they have something to cuddle and love.
They ask that anyone who can, will take a moment to help make a ‘DIF’ference along with them and give a donation however small to help in spreading this friendship for those missing their deployed loved ones.
One doll purchased = One doll donated