Church group makes dolls for homeless children

- The women of New Life Lutheran Church in Sarasota are working to make sure children who have lost everything have one object they can call their own.

"This gives them that is something that is theirs, they can hug it, talk to it or do whatever they like," said Ruth Ott.

They're making rag dolls, but it could be called a labor of love.

"The idea we are putting them together in such a way that they'll be eye catching and appealing to a child, I think is the most important thing," said Patty Jo Christenson. "I think it's really important to give a child and smile and make them feel special and that's what we hope and pray our dolls do."

They the dolls are going to Turning Points in Bradenton, an organization helping homeless families get back on their feet.

"Each of these dolls come from the same pattern, but each and every one is unique. No two are alike just alike," said Genie Stickelman.

The women have been busy creating thousands over the years and 500 for their current donation.

"We've become very systematized. There are those that cut the dolls, those that paint the faces, stuff the bodies. It's not work though. We love everyone of these creatures that we put together," said Lola Stehr.

Their love has already been spread, giving a simple smile to the youngest victims of homelessness.

"When the child gets it, their face just brightens up. You know, it just means the world to that child. For that second, they know they are being thought o,f they know they are being loved," said Margi Dawson with Turning Points.

Each one is filled with love from a kind stranger hoping to make a difference. On Sunday the congregation will send them off with a prayer and a hug for the journey to their new home. Then they'll get back to work, making more dolls. The group said its women have no plans on stopping.

"We just think of the people that are going to be using them. We send them off with hugs," said Mary Ann Thrune.

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