Donations range anywhere from $5 to $1,000. Any amount will help a child in need. To make and deliver one doll to a child, the cost is $30.
We turn your donations into the making and delivering of each doll. A portion of donations are used for administrative and fundraising expenses. Operation Hug-A-HeroTM currently has one paid employee at this time.
Operation Hug-A-Hero™ currently has a diversified Board of Directors consisting of 8 members. Quarterly meetings help determine the vision of our organization as well as ensuring we are following our mission precisely and determining the path we will go to be a successful and thriving non-profit organization.
It’s been over 4 years since the first Hug-A-Hero™ doll, bearing the likeness of a deployed servicemember, went out to his child in Jacksonville, North Carolina from Tricia Dyal’s home. Now, she and co-creator Nikki Darnell are awed by the reception that their Hug-A-Hero™ dolls have gotten all over the globe. They created the dolls to fill a need in their own children’s lives when their husbands were deployed to Iraq in 2005. Hug-A-Hero™ dolls are a simple design; a full body picture of a loved one sewn into a soft, washable doll. Their purpose, however, is far from simple. Easing the loneliness and anxiety of deployments for children of service members, the Hug-A-Hero™ dolls are now filling a void for other military children. Hand sewn and individually produced in the United States, these dolls bridge the gap between those deployed and the families left at home. When it became obvious how beneficial the dolls were to their children’s emotional well-being, Dyal and Darnell knew they had to share their creation with the world. So, the two Marine Corps wives began making dolls from their homes, formed Daddy Dolls®, Inc., launched a website, and while juggling their own military moves and deployments, have watched their business grow. “We’re so proud to see Hug-A-Hero™ dolls touching so many lives all over the world” says Dyal.From day one, it has been Dyal and Darnell’s dream to gift their Hug-A-Hero™ dolls to every military child faced with the stresses of a deployment. “We know first hand that they help the child cope, and that, in-turn, helps the parents cope,” says Darnell.Shortly after they formed Daddy Dolls®, Inc., they developed a special fund – financed through the generous donations of individuals, organizations, and companies. The fund, Operation Hug-A-Hero™ provided dolls to children who had lost a parent in the line of duty or to children whose families couldn’t afford a doll. Already, the organization has been able to help thousands of children, but limited funds require that recipients come recommended by Chaplains based on need.Experience has shown that America is filled with amazing people who are willing to support US troops by supporting the families left behind. With their Hug-A-Hero™ dolls and other resources designed to help military families get through long deployments, Dyal and Darnell plan to do just that. In an effort to make donating easier, and provide generous donors (any amount is generous) with the tax benefit of a non-profit donation, Operation Hug-A-Hero™, Inc. was formed on August 6, 2008. Dyal also brought on Lisa Berg to act as her Director of Development as they get Operation Hug-A-Hero™ fully functional. It is currently in the Not for Profit application process. Dyal and Berg hope that the formation of the non-profit organization will encourage corporate sponsorships and someday soon allow them to gift Hug-A-Hero™ dolls to every military child who wants one. Operation Hug-A-Hero does just that.
We provide Hug-A-HeroTM (aka Daddy Dolls®, Inc.) to the children of our deployed military and those that have lost their hero in the line of duty. We reach out to those families who are going through a difficult time while mommy or daddy is away. We provide these dolls free of charge to those that qualify. Click here to see the requirements for recipients.