(KUTV) A Utah County woman is spreading hope to refugees around the world.
Sarah Parson is passionate about helping refugees and has always been involved in humanitarian work.
When she heard about the conditions of refugee camps in places like Greece, she knew she had to do something for the children.
“They're playing with rusty nails and scraps of wood, insects and scorpions--anything they can get their hands on,” Parson said.
So she started making stuffed dolls and bears to send to the children waiting at the camps.
“I just want them to feel loved,” she said.
Parson ships the bears and dolls to the camps, or gives them to other organizations that are helping refugees.
She calls her efforts “Dolls of Hope.”
“It's just something that's theirs,” she said of the dolls. “It just brings them a lot of comfort and joy.”
Parson made the dolls on her own at first, but eventually asked for help.
Now, she has people sewing the stuffed creations all over Utah, the country, and even the world.
“I have people who have contacted me from England, Australia, Canada, who are sewing,” Parson said.
Because of her helpers, Dolls of Hope has shipped over a thousand bears and dolls to refugee camps in the past year.
“I think it's just reassuring to me that there's other people who care about these kids,” Parson said.
Buying fabric and shipping costs can be pricey for Parson.
Mountain America Credit Union donated $500 to Dolls of Hope.
You can contribute to Dolls of Hope by helping sew bears and dolls or money to assist with shipping costs. Parson can provide patterns and other advice if needed.
Dolls of Hope is currently collecting dolls and bears for the group Carry the Future. They will be added to the baby beds the organization brings to refugee camps.
She is also collecting the toys for the Utah Refugee Connection to be added to summer fun packs for refugee children.
For more information, you can visit the Dolls of Hope Facebook group page.