Group donates dolls to Charlotte County children’s charities



To some people, dolls are just dolls.

But for children who have experienced tragedy, a doll can be a treasure.

On its 25th anniversary, the United Dolls Club in Charlotte County has collected more than 100 dolls and toys to donate to various organizations that help children in Charlotte County. Organizations include Valerie’s House that works with grieving children, the Rape and Abuse Emergency Center, and the Guardian Ad Litem Foundation.

The purpose is to give the dolls to children who are dealing with grief.

“They can have a doll to hug and care for,” says Christine Carey, program and outreach coordinator for Valerie’s House.

The hope is that while they take care of their toys, their toys will take care of them.

“They use these items as a convenience,” said Jessica Stanfield, executive director of the Guardian Ad Litem Foundation for the 20th Jud Justice Circuit. “It could be something they can hug when they feel like they can’t hug anyone else.”

“They walk out of a home, the life they’ve known for a few years, and then suddenly they’re in a shelter with nothing at all,” says shelter manager Jamie Hufford at the Abuse Emergency Center and Rape in Charlotte County said.

For some people, dolls represent something so good, they deserve to be protected and preserved.

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

Nancy Vanselow, a member of the Peace River Doll Club, said she enjoys researching and preserving the dolls for future generations.

“That’s how we learn fashion, we learn a lot about the history of dolls,” says Vanselow.

The Peace River Doll Club in Charlotte County plans to collect toys year-round to donate to local charities. Members also welcome anyone who wants to join their club and help bring the dolls back to life. Group donates dolls to Charlotte County children’s charities

Aila Slisco

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