Letter: Dolls can make a difference

When you see the appalling conditions of children in countries ravaged by war or by natural forces, you realize that even if children survive, they lose their chances at ordinary childhoods. While most of us can’t be on the ground providing aid, we can give our time in one simple way.

One way knitters and crocheters make a contribution is by making ‘comfort’ or “Izzy” dolls. Hundreds of thousands of these dolls have been sent worldwide to suffering children since 1994. Since I joined the movement in 2007, I have co-ordinated knitters and crocheters, first in the Trochu area and later from my home in Red Deer.

Dolls are distributed locally to Ronald MacDonald House, and to refugees and special children as well as thousands of miles away. Most of the dolls from our groups are used as packing in huge crates of medical supplies.

An exceptional long-time Red Deerian, Ruth Moore, began knitting dolls in 2007, and since that time, has knit 2,700 dolls. It is not simply the volume that is amazing, but also her creativity, as she created designs including a Rebel doll and a Taylor Swift doll. Vision problems do not allow Ruth to decorate and stuff the dolls so a little assembly line of people attempts to keep up with her supply of dolls! Ruth’s daughter, Brenda Clark, stitches faces on the dolls then passes them on to others, including dedicated sports fan Sheila Bradner, who sits untiringly watching all the games on TV she loves, completing the dolls.

Lorea Haynes who has crocheted more than 700 dolls since she joined the group.

Donna Pride from Trochu, has knit approximately 500 dolls over the years. She has been joined by her granddaughter, Hannah Rausch from Blackfalds, in the project.

A little doll is perhaps the only possession an orphan or distressed child has. From our comfortable homes here, we can send a little bit of comfort to those children who have so little. Thank you to all who have helped.

Brenda Dowell, Red Deer

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