Dolls For Very Sick Kids
those in need
LET US LOVE ONE ANOTHER
I make and give away two foot tall cloth dolls to children with cancer (notice I will not honor it with a capital c) and OTHER devastating medical issues that turn their world upside down. As of the 27th of April 2015, two hundred and twenty-eight dolls will have sent out free of cost including postage, thanks to donations of fabric, lace and some monetary donations to help with other supplies and the dreaded cost of mailing. I am almost seventy-five, and began this in seriousness in 2007. On this site, I will do my best to keep you updated while maintaining the confidentiality of those who wish it for their children. The dolls come from a non-smoking home and one without pets. They have no hair as most go to kids with cancer that lose their hair.
I can tell you of a 3 year old that could not speak sentences nor walk and was small enough to fit in an infant seat. She was in need of a liver and heart transplant. She loved her large doll and it was left beside her for comfort. Her parent said if she woke and it was not there, she became hysterical and called out one of the few words she could say. She wanted SIS, which is what she called her. That was long ago. The little girl’s name was Amy.
There was a little girl named Scarlett. Scarlett was only two and suffered from brain cancer. She went through a lot looking for the cure. She was one of the lucky ones and is now four with no return of the cancer to date. It is my prayer that will continue to be the case.
There is Aubrie. She was six with brain cancer. She sent me a picture of herself with her doll, and a sigh that said both “I love my doll!” and “God Bless you”.
I could tell you of a nine year old that had brain cancer and passed away three days after receiving his ‘doll buddy’
There was a child in Switzerland that needed a bone marrow transplant
There is a local boy, who dearly loves his doll buddy named Ted. He had him over a year before finally receiving a long needed kidney transplant. He is now down to only a three hundred and fifty mile trips every other month, to have the kidney evaluated for how well it is going to function.
I gave a doll to a baby just under a year old, whose heart was upside down and had already endured twelve surgeries.
There is a boy whose heart is on the wrong side of his body.
There was the three year old that got a liver transplant at last.
The list goes on, as will I, as long as possible. I rarely have the privilege of knowing what has happened to these children, but I can understand why that is the case. The parents and family have enough on their mind, without updating me.
The dolls are not about me, they are about the children. They are meant to bring comfort. In the still of the night, it is my thought a child needs something soft to cuddle, to talk to, something she can love and talk to with no one else around.
A couple of ladies send twenty four and twenty-eight inch doll quilts for the dolls to be wrapped in, and a small birth certificate comes with them, plus a short story I wrote from the doll to the child receiving it. This is what it says.
I belong to you in a place of the mind that belongs to children and doll friends. I belong to you.
When you want to laugh, I will laugh with you. When you cry, please hold me near. The cloth in me will soak up your tears, and they will store themselves in the love I am surely stuffed with.
When you want a hug or need one, I will be happy to help you with that.
If you are afraid in the day, or in the dark, please know I will do my entire doll body allows me to do, to make you feel better.
When you feel angry, I will only listen, and never be angry back.
I am your friend. I belong to you
I have been blessed from all over the USA with fabric for these dolls, so presently that is not an issue or immediate need. The boy dolls get their clothing from thrift stores in used like new twelve month sizes, and are quite handsome in their hoodies, t-shirts, long pants of overall or blue jeans, etc. They wear a knit cap. The girls are a two in one dolly, with long skirts and plenty of lace around the skirts, muliple colorful ties around the waistline. They wear a mop-cap. When the outside skirt is turned inside out a dolly with a nightgown is there all ready to be put to sleep. I embroider their faces with little tear drop eyes and a curved smiling mouth. I designed the dolls and their clothing.
I am not an organization, and the dolls now are having their dresses made by a church friend named Linda. Otherwise it is just me, and the occasional help through my church to sew the dolls and stuff them as they are able. My church is pretty small and they do what they can. I am not asking for money, but I am telling you, I always have need for boys knit caps (like a beanie cap in an adult size, and new or used like new …if possible. The need for 2 and 3 inch wide lace in 48 inch lengths is always needed. I can assure you that should you have a desire to help financially, I do not, nor will I EVER make a profit off the dolls, nor will any volunteer that sews or stuffs dolls be paid for doing that. It isn’t about them either. Anything monetary is immediately put into a non-profit account for the dolls, to mail them out, and purchase materials for bodies, etc, that I don’t otherwise have. I do the labor and God supplies the need. I do ask, if you are among those that pray, to please say a prayer for those children that are stricken with so many things, over which they have little if any control. I have extended the need for these dolls to comfort, and on occasion, to children who have been sexually and physically abused, for that is yet another way in which a child’s world is turned upside down.
I will find stories I have written about children and cancer when I can find them, and post more pictures when and if I am allowed to do so.
My mailing address is: P.O. Box 1006. I am in Crescent City, CA. 95531. If you wish me to call you, please send me either an e-mail or a written request and I will do so. my e-mail is: email@example.com. I normally send dolls to kid’s aged two to ten, but follow my heart and make exceptions. A doll went to a child woman, who will never know life, with a husband and family, perhaps a child to love, such as you may know. This girl will never be able to care for herself and has the intelligence I am told of an eight year old.
The stories go on and on.
I wrote this long ago and while it does not address cancer, it does address love of family. I hope we all experience that same love. Enjoy the story, and if you find time, drop me a line.
REMIND ME, LORD
© Vickey Stamps
Sometimes my days seem lonely
and friends feel so far away
I forget to talk to Jesus
And the sky looks dark and gray.
I wallow in self- pity
and enjoy the gloom so much
it feels like I’m the only one
that hard luck wants to touch.
It’s then I look around me
And take stock in what I see
The blind, the lame, the deaf ones
Are all worse off than me
My children care about me
and they show it many ways
if I should die tomorrow
I have still had many days
I’ve traveled down life’s pathway
learned new things all the time
I’ve watched a newborn baby coo
Heard a child recite a rhyme
I’ve watched the sunset fade away
I’ve seen the stars come out
I’ve watched the dawn come creeping
and I’ve heard a roosters shout
Food’s been on my table
and bills manage to get paid
Compared to some less fortunate
I’ve really got it made
So when my days seem lonely
and friends seem so far away
take me by the hand dear Lord
Don’t let me go astray
Remind me of where I could be
of all I have this day
May I spread joy, not sorrow
to those along life’s way
A sweet friend vote this about me and the dolls. I hope you will like it. I have to admit it put a huge lump in my throat.
(c) By Wanda Wilder 12-2-13
(Dedicated to Vickey Stamps and her dolls for VERY sick kids)
"Whoa now, little one, you need to stay in that box" were the first words Cincinnati 239 really ever remembered hearing. The sound of them made him freeze in mid flight of his prison and cringe there desperately clinging halfway out of its cardboard walls.
"Hush now little one, there's no need to be frightened. I am as you are, and meant you no harm"
Slowly, cautiously, he began to relinquish the vise-like grip his fingers had on the edge of the box. He turned his head very slowly in the direction the voice appeared to have come from. there on a very busy white painted make shift shelf, among the various scraps of odd materials, laces, papers, scissors, what appeared to be cut out utensils, bags and bags with who knows what wonders filling them, and barely visible were the kindest, bluest eyes he'd ever seen. They were set beautifully on the daintiest porcelain head, with the look of ageless wonder and wisdom all sew up and surrounded with lovely golden locks. She was beauty personified. He was transfixed. She gently smiled at him and asked "Where were you going in such a hurry?" This brought him to his senses once more. He looked left and then as carefully right, and slipping smoothly out of the box as well as leaning comparatively close to that beautiful head, he whispered
"I have to escape. I'm very sure something's very wrong. Don't you feel it to?"
"No, little one. I'm afraid I do not." She said, as calmly as she could. "HUMMMMM....' he said "I wonder how that could be. I feel lost, stolen, forgotten, shoved in a box. Something .... Why don't you feel it?"
She considered this carefully. She was not what you would call the brightest tool in the shed, but had been on the shelf for her share of boxes, and that did give her a bit of wisdom in this area. After what seemed an eternity to Cincinnati, she very sweetly and calmly answered "Because I guess I trust Miss Vickey."
He was flabbergasted with her answer. After a few starts and stops that for all the world sounded as if he was shuddering, he managed an exasperated What's a m..m...Miss Vic...Vickey?" Without thinking she quickly responded "She is among other things your creator." His eyes grew wide as he took in this statement, and with childish awe he asked "A M..miss Vickey is God?"
"Oh my", she thought "this will never do. She must think more carefully and remember 'baby steps' in these situations. Again, that sweet , sweet smile and those beautiful kind eyes looking straight into his very new angelic like face, as she carefully chose her words. Miss Vickey is not God, but was created herself by God and loves and worships, and I believe follows him the best she can. Miss Vickey is like a painter that God her father works through. He whispers and hints to her, as He does to all His children what colors he would love to see on a canvas and she tries to please him with her creations, while making the world a brighter place.
Cincinnati was a bit confused. "So Miss Vickey is a painter?"
"Not Exactly. She's an artist that helps to shape, bend, smooth the edges of the world, that it is more appealing to her Father and a more comforting place to live.."
Again the small plaintiff voice..."Miss Vickey is an artist?"
This was more difficult than she thought, and as she pondered this, Cincinnati, even more confused and frightened in his frustration blurted out rather childishly "Well I won't get back in the box and no one can make me, until someone can help me understand why, why, oh why am I so scared." And at that, he crossed his little stitched legs and sank helplessly to the table top on which he had been standing and began to quietly sob.
"Oh sweet little one, please do not cry. I truly believe everything will be fine."
In between sobs and tiny shudders he asked "How?" "
Well" because I trust Miss Vickey" , she again stated.
He so needed to believe her and find this trust she spoke of for himself, but there was something .... something inside of him that wasn't right, so instead he lashed out at the only comfort and beauty he has known in his short existence. "That may be easy for you to say,, but you're not the one in a box!" His tiny pursed lips emphasized his words.
"Mmmmmm, Yes, there is that." She said "but someday I hope ....No! I will be! And her stunning beautiful blue eyes drifted lazily skyward, as she imagined that truly wonderful day when it would be her turn to be 'the creation'"
Cincinnati watched her at first with surprise and then curious at her sudden dreamy state. He much more quietly, calmly asked "You want to be in a box, to be punished, sent away for something you've done, and you don't even know what!"
"Oh no!, you must never feel punished, or sent away. You were created by Miss Vickey to brighten the world, to smooth the edges, to make life more appealing and more tolerable." She was stammering, now on the verge of tears, but simply must make this poor confused babe understand. She calmed herself and cleared her tiny thought. "You, Child, are with the Holy Spirit and God's ever watchful eyes, Miss Vicky's vessel of love!'" "I don't feel like ....What is love?"
Oh she so wanted to get this right and only wished that she also had Miss Vickey's talent of the Holy Spirit's enlightenment. "Love is the greatest gift ever given by God, the Father. "Because of love, He created the world, in all its glory from the largest mountain to the tiniest molecule. Because of Love, God promised eternal life; not for your money or your property, but for all of those things already belonging to him... Its for your love."
"Yes, Sweetie, your love."
At that Cincinnati 239 began again to cry. It was a piteous cry and between sobs he said "That's...a...ah...it! I know what's wrong. My love a...a...a...ah...it feels so wrong!'
Finally a knowing smile came across the beautiful porcelain face and she said "Child, I understand now why your love' feels wrong. Let me try to explain a little better that you might understand and find comfort. It is true as I said that Miss Vickie created you to be a vessel of love, specifically to a sick hurting soul, most probably a child, feeling sore, trampled, scared and lonely. But although with every scrap and every thread, she stitched so much love into you, and when you were done, and as I watched right before you were placed ever so gently into that box, that is marked for a little boy named "Sherod' in Cincinnati; how she gave you a hug so filled with love, she nearly cried. This love was not meant for you!"
"You see, it is your special destiny to carry this love to Sherod, and when you deliver it, and he receives all the love Miss Vickey has sent him, it is then that He gives you the love greater than was received, for you get his love, then you will feel it and all will be right." As she watched, two tiny feet were the last to be sliding over the edge of the box, and with a gentle thump and a giggle, as she landed gently in the packing materials, Cincinnati 239 was out of sight.
He sat there in the box giddy with excitement. He was a beautiful painting to brighten a day, a creation to make life more tolerable. He was pleasing to God. He was a vessel to carry God's great gift. It was a lot to take in, but it was a great day, and he would soon be on his way. Then he heard "Psss....Psst" He stood up to see his beautiful wise friend, and she asked "Would you like me to read to you, your shipping information, arrival date, and all that?"
"NOPE" and as his back slowly slid down into the box, once more a tiny smile crossed his face, and he said (almost to himself)
"I trust Miss Vickey"