Local Impact, Student News

Care Dolls Comfort ER Patients

Madeline Poultridge '20, Hadley Pack '22, Annabel Hoffman '22, Lola Wilson-Kolp '22, and Ella Stewart '22 have been volunteering with Vermont Arts Exchange's TLC Dolls program.

Photo of comfort dolls

These handmade fabric comfort dolls are donated to Project Against Violent Encounters (PAVE), which distributes them to survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Recently, the Vermont Arts Exchange has expanded the project to donate dolls to emergency room patients, as well.

From the Bennington Banner:

"Of the eight dolls donated to the hospital, one was an owl with a head made of denim and polka-dot cotton for wings. Another was a gentle monster, which had a bright green felt head and a toothy expression. A female figure with a crown and lace gown was called 'the goddess.'

"Each doll carried a card with a printed message. There were four message variations, and the one tucked in a heart-shaped pink pocket on the owl’s belly read: 'Dear Friend, I am here for you to snuggle and hug, when you are falling down and need some love.'

"The back of the card identified the doll as a project of Vermont Arts Exchange, a North Bennington nonprofit group that promotes art education, exhibitions and performance opportunities. The group has been making the dolls since 2013 with the help of Vermont School for Girls students and other volunteers. Called TLC Dolls, about 140 of them have since been given to Project Against Violent Encounters, a organization that helps victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Tuesday was the first time the dolls were given to another institution."