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Hundreds of dolls brought back to life for Christmas

December 9, 2018
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In this Dec. 4, 2018 photo, Diana Harvey works on refurbishing dolls for the Mac's Toy Fund at The Place that's located behind the United Methodist Temple in Beckley, W.Va. Harvey has been volunteering services for this project for the past 16 years. (Rick Barbero/The Register-Herald via AP)

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — “All you have to do is see a girl grab a doll and smile one time,” Dian Harvey said Tuesday as she sifted through giant buckets of doll clothing. “It hooks you.”

Over the course of 16 years, Harvey, the doll coordinator for Mac’s Toy Fund, said the organization has donated between 600 and 800 dolls each Christmas to little girls in need in southern West Virginia.

But before the dolls can be gifted, they must go through a refurbishment process. And although it might seem tedious, Harvey said this is a one and only chance, for most people, to sit and play with dolls.

“It’s fun having an excuse to play with dolls.”

The dolls are separated between new and used before being washed. After the dolls are cleaned thoroughly, participants use miniature combs and brushes to detangle the dolls’ hair.

The dolls are then gifted to girls from “birth to age 12” at Mac’s Toy Fund distribution party, according to Harvey.

Every year, coordinators send tickets to families who receive any sort of assistance from the state. Harvey said churches may also submit names of people in need of toys. This year, close to 1,500 people were added to that list, Harvey said.

“The need is growing in the community.”

Mac’s Toy Fund has existed since 1930. The fund raises money and collects used toys, bikes and coats for distribution to children in the community.

Those interested in donating are urged to drop off dolls and other toys to BJW Printing on Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley. Drop-offs can also be made at The Place in Beckley, which is located directly behind First Community Bank.

“If you have gently-used toys and want to teach children to give, this is a great opportunity to do so.”

For more information, call Dian Harvey at 304-673-0882.

— Email: kjames@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @KabreaJamesRH

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Information from: The Register-Herald, http://www.register-herald.com

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