Have you heard about the SaltWire News app?
Mixed feelings as COVID clip snowbirds wings
SaltWire Selects: Stories you don't want to miss
Daily fall forecasts and weather facts from Cindy Day
SaltWire's cartoonists bring heart and humour to the news.
What you need to know about COVID-19: October 20, 2020
They are called giggle dolls for a very good reason. The one-of-a-kind knitted dolls created by 18-year-old Doyle Stone are putting smiles on the faces of children staying at Ronald McDonald House in St. John’s, NL.
Doyle’s mother, Colleen Stone, taught her to knit about a year ago.
After knitting a scarf the needles went by the wayside as it was a busy year for the St. John’s teen, who was into her final year of high school at St. Bonaventure’s College in St. John’s.
“Then snowmageddon happened and I had a week of free time,” Doyle said of a record-breaking snowstorm that struck in early 2020.
Doyle decided to pass her time knitting dolls from a mermaid pattern her mother used years ago to knit dolls for Doyle and her sister, Furey.
COVID-19 has also provided Doyle with time to continue her project.
Doyle has not only created about two dozen giggle dolls but has also set up an Instagram account @giggledollsnl with pictures of the dolls as well as fun facts about them.
The astute teenager uses her imagination to spur her creativity.
Knowing her donation was going to Ronald McDonald House, she made several dolls with sick children in mind.
Liz wears a little hat because she’s going through chemotherapy treatment. She lives in Singapore and loves to find and make clothes so she can hold fashion shows with her friends.
Ji-ho, who lives off the Coast of South Korea, has a prosthetic arm. When he was younger, he lost his arm in a fishing net. Ji-ho likes to listen to K-pop music and hopes to go to Paralympics one day.
“The best part of making the dolls is when you give them hair and little faces. That’s when they have a personality,” Doyle said.
A first year student at Memorial University, Doyle has always enjoyed giving of her time to worthy causes. She at her schoolmates at St. Bon’s spent time volunteering at the Gathering Place – a community health centre for society’s most vulnerable people.
Her family was also involved in a project to build a greenhouse for the Gathering Place.
Colleen and her husband Dave Stone are proud of their daughter’s accomplishments and her eagerness to volunteer.
“We’d all sit by the fire and Doyle and her sister (Furey is 13) would hold up the dolls. They’d make up stories about them,” Colleen said.
Christine Morgan, director of development and communications with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) NL, said the circumstances that bring families to Ronald McDonald House are often stressful, emotional and overwhelming.
“At Ronald McDonald House, we work hard to reduce the everyday stresses of supporting a sick child and provide an environment where sick kids can be kids from the moment they enter our doors,” Morgan said.
Doyle is the organization’s newest Young Hero - individuals who do not let their age discourage them from making a difference in the lives of sick children and their families.
Doyle’s gift of giggle dolls is both creative and thoughtful, Morgan said.
“We love (the giggle dolls) so much and our newest kids are already enjoying them. Doyle Stone exemplifies a true RMHC Young Hero as her donation is truly a gift from her heart,” Morgan added.
Families with a sick child need to be stronger than ever as they manage their own family crisis during a global crisis, Morgan said.
Right now, it’s hard for all families to stay close – but it’s even harder for a family with a sick or injured child especially those who must travel far from home, Morgan said.
RMHC NL has experienced a significant reduction of funding due to cancellation of fundraising events and volunteer programs as a result of COVID-19, she said.
“Our families need you now more than ever,” Morgan said.
To support the programs and services offered at Ronald McDonald House visit www.rmhcnl.ca.