Group gives dolls to Charlotte County charities for children

Reporter: Tiffany Rizzo
Published: Updated:
A group in Charlotte County works to preserve dolls and give them to organizations that help children in the area. (CREDIT: WINK News)

To some, dolls are just dolls.

But to children who have been through tragedy, a doll can be a treasure.

For its 25th anniversary, the United Federation of Doll Club in Charlotte County collected over 100 dolls and toys to donate to multiple different organizations that help children in Charlotte County. Organizations include Valerie’s House that works with grieving children, the Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies, and Guardian Ad Litem Foundation.

The goal is to give the dolls to children coping with grief.

“They are able to have a doll to hug hold and care for,” said Christine Carey, program and outreach coordinator with Valerie’s House.

The hope is while they care for their toys, their toys will care for them.

“They use these items as comfort items it may be the one thing they can tell their secrets and the things that they are going through to,” said Jessica Stanfield, executive director for the Guardian Ad Litem Foundation for the 20th Judicial Circuit. “It may be the thing they are able to hug when they feel they can’t hug anyone else.”

“They walk out of a home, a life they knew for several years and then all of a sudden they are in a shelter with nothing,” said Jamie Hufford shelter manager at the Center for Abuse and Rape Emergency in Charlotte County.

For some people dolls represent something so good, they’re worth protecting and preserving.

“Dolls mean to me joy, happiness, remembering some of my most treasured memories,” said Heather Day, president for the Peace River Doll Club.

Nancy Vanselow, a member of the Peace River Doll Club, said she loves to the research and preserve the dolls for future generations.

“That’s how we learn fashion, we learn so much for our dolls, the history,” Vanselow said.

The Peace River Doll Club in Charlotte County plans to collect toys all year round to give to local charities. Members also welcome anyone who wants to join their club and help bring dolls back to life.

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