With the recent news of President Obama’s announcement for troop increases to Afghanistan, we have seen a huge upsurge in family’s requesting our services. We are pleased to be able to support our little hero’s as the Moms and Dads deploy to support us all.
This is a recent recipients letter of thanks. From the Castro’s an Army Family living in Germany.
The Family Story as Told by the deploying father, Sergeant Castro
I have a 2 year old son that just broke my heart saying goodbye to. We are very close to each other. Since I left he would cry for me. It breaks my heart for my wife to deal with this every day for a year.
This is the recent email we received from Imani’s mom
Thank you so much for this wonderful program! Imani received his Daddy Doll today and was so excited to get to hug and kiss his miniature daddy!
Imani is 2 1/2 years old and this is already his 2nd deployment. His Dad left for Afghanistan the first time when he was only 6 days old and just recently left again for another tour last month. He was so excited to own his Daddy Doll. He now takes him everywhere in the house. Once again, thank you for this wonderful gift..
Daddy Dolls our parent sponsor, works within the military community on other benefits that sometimes provide parallel relationships that are both supportive of Daddy Dolls business and that also bring awareness and support to our Non Profit Mission to provide Free Hug A hero Dolls to Those families who meet OHAH eligibility requirements. In that venue back in October 2009 Daddy Dolls sponsored an event with the American Red Cross of San Diego. We recently received permission to publish a letter we had received from this event. Here is the event recap.
“Daddy Dolls, Inc. has partnered with the American Red Cross San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter to help provide Hug-A-Hero dolls to children who are missing their mommy or daddy. In a recent breakfast honoring “The Real Heroes” which took place on board the USS Midway, there were surprises waiting for some of the Little Heroes in attendance.
Please read on to hear about the heartfelt experience this had on the children attending, especially little Miss Katie Rizer.”
“Good afternoon: Words cannot express how grateful I am for what your company did in support of our Real Heroes Breakfast. The event, held on board the USS MIDWAY was very successful, attracting over 800 people from our community, all of whom were touched by the Hug-a-Hero dolls at their tables. When it was announced that the individuals on the dolls were real service members currently deployed and that the dolls were donated as gifts to their families, a long applause erupted throughout the hanger deck. Many folks throughout the morning commented on the dolls and on how real they made the experience of military families who find ways to cope with missing parents and absentee spouses as a measure of their commitment to something bigger than themselves.
Your generosity also allowed us to invite ten Marines from the Wounded Warrior Program at Balboa Naval Hospital. They were grateful for the invitation and enjoyed a front row seat as they heard Rear Admiral Bonnelli thank them for their sacrifice and services. Most of all, I want you to know that your generosity made all the difference in the world to Katie Rizer, a six year old young girl whose father is currently deployed aboard the USS SAMPSON. Katie misses her father terribly and her mother Rebecca feels the pain of trying to help a young girl understand something that, on an emotional level, no six year old can understand. Katie and her mother were able to attend the breakfast as quests of your company.
I had the privilege of escorting them to their table. As we reached the table and I was introducing them to others seated there, Katie’s eyes became as big as saucers and she could not contain herself. Politely but with great emotion, Katie drew her mother’s attention to the center piece and said, “Mommy Look! It’s Daddy.” Everyone at the table turned to Katie who was a picture of unabashed joy. Rebecca, seeing the picture of her husband and watching her daughter’s joy, could not contain herself. Large tears filled her eyes and she sobbed deeply while a touching smile crossed her face. Katie’s natural response and the warm and supportive response of those seated at the table made it a moment to cherish. Rebecca let me know several times during and after the event how much this meant to her and to Katie. You and your company helped make that possible.
I know of no other way to tell you how much I appreciate what you helped me do and the potential impact of your contribution, than to send you a picture. Please enjoy and share the moment you helped create………………..Best and more later, Charlie
Manager, Services to the Armed Forces
Here is a great heart felt story about a family whose children are recent recipients of Hug a Hero Dolls.
Brendan and Alamae love their daddy dolls. They never want to go anywhere without them. Brendan has to go to the hospital once a week and he takes it with him each time. The nurses and doctor think it’s the coolest thing ever!! Alamae is 7 years old and she’s a real daddy’s girl. She loves to keep her doll close. She brings her daddy to school and shows him to everyone. It is her favorite thing to take for show and tell. She gets to talk about him to her friends and I know that makes her so proud! These dolls are the most amazing thing ever created. We are so thankful for them. We take them everywhere we go…hospitals, restaurants, and best of all to their military support group.
Both Hennessy’s are Marines and Mommy was deployed for this testimony:
“Kaylei brings her doll to all the stores with her and screams Mommy, Mommy and shoves it at anybody who will look at her. I get emails all the time telling me how cute everyone thinks it is. It was the perfect Christmas present so tell them thank you very much from us all” Cpl Rebekah Hennessy
“Thank you again for the daddy doll! Harley absolutely loves it. She was in my bed from the day Marc left until the day she received the daddy doll. Now she sleeps in her own bed and goes to bed with out crying. Also, Harley has a very rare blood disorder call Cyclic Neutropenia and has to get a shot every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. When her daddy was her she would hold and squeeze his hand. When he left I had a really hard time getting her to let me give her a shot. Now that she has her Daddy doll it has made it SO much easier to give her a shot because now she can squeeze her Daddy!!!.
So again thank you so much.
My husband was recently deployed to Iraq. This is our first deployment and we have 2 very young children. I was searching for ways to help my children deal with his deployment. A friend saw a news clipping on Operation Hug-A-Hero. After contacting Lisa and speaking to her I was at peace with the changes our family was about to go through. Keirah and Kyler were very happy when they received their dolls. They sleep with them every night and I know their daddy is watching over them at night.
Thank you Operation Hug-A-Hero!!
Sarah, Keirah and Kyler Nelson
This is a story from one of our recipients of our program who was able to receive a doll through the generosity of one of our sponsors. The Jacksonville, FL 4-H group, the “Duval Diplomats” raised money by collecting pennies for our cause which allowed this family to get a FREE Hug-A-Hero doll.
From Audrey Hahn :
“Eleorah loves her doll. I mean, it’s just the cutest thing to watch her snuggle with it. And I really think that it helps her with Justin gone and everything. Sometimes she will say, “Want talk Daddy on phone.” and I have to tell her that we can’t call him. It’s really sad. So, instead I tell her “well, we can’t call him right now, but why don’t you go get your Daddy doll and tell him?” and she does!”
Could you tell the 4-H group thank you from us? I was so pleased when we were told that we could get one of these free because someone else already paid for them. Thank you guys so much. It was such a nice blessing and, I have to say, it’s even nice for me – as silly as that sounds .
Once again, thank you, thank you, thank you.
Audrey, Justin and
This is a story from one of the recipients of our program. The Wilson family is a Marine Corps family stationed in San Diego, California.
Here’s from Courtney Wilson, whose husband is a Marine out of San Diego:
“I am so appreciative of the Daddy Dolls that were given to my twins!
My husband was deployed for 7 months while I was pregnant and gave birth 2 1/2 months premature to Colby and Chloe. He returned home 3 months after their birth and hospitalization, and then re-deployed 9 months later for a 12 month deployment. He left right after the twins turned 1 and won’t return home until after they turn 2.
The dolls mean so much to my twins because they are able to hug and kiss their “daddy” every night. It helps them keep daddy in their lives so that hopefully, when he returns, they will be somewhat familiar with him.
Thank you so much for your generosity in giving each child their own doll. (They have a tendency to fight over the same toys, so I’m grateful that they each have their own personalized doll.) Their daddy doll is very special to them.”