Have you ever had an idea that you really wanted to make happen? But no matter what you did, the idea never quite took shape the way you envisioned? Pepper Hume knows this feeling. For years, she hoped to send her handmade dolls (called Hugme Dolls) to children who had experienced trauma. But the logistics of making enough dolls and getting them to people in need in a timely way were prohibitive.
It turned out that all that was needed to help the project take root was Presbyterian Women.
After years of living away from Oklahoma, Pepper returned and rejoined the church she’d grown up in, First Presbyterian Church in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. She approached Presbyterian Women in the Congregation with her doll design and two boxes of donated fabric, asking if the group would be interested in making dolls. They responded with resounding enthusiasm. The PW group and helpers (of all or no sewing abilities) usually make 16 dolls a month, which they give to first responders, hospitals and shelters in Bartlesville and the surrounding area.
Pepper wrote about the Hugme Dolls in the May/June issue of Horizons, and shared her email address in case anyone might be interested in making the dolls to gift to others. In a little over a month, Pepper had 25 requests—from individuals, PW groups and even a PW in the Presbytery group.
While First Presbyterian in Bartlesville has many donors who provide the materials, Presbyterian Women have helped the project take off in ways that Pepper only dreamed of. The PW group at First Presbyterian Church in Bartlesville makes enough dolls to supply first responders and shelters with a way to offer reassurance to children in and near Bartlesville. Because of Horizons magazine (funded through subscriptions and advertising, as well as the annual fund), more PW groups and individuals will take on this mission, offering children in crisis a soft, huggable friend.
The annual fund “stitches together” PW groups for ministries like this one (at all levels of the church) and helps fund Horizons to share the word about the many comforting, life-changing ministries of PW.
If you have a story about what PW’s annual fund makes possible in your congregation, presbytery or synod, contact Sharon Dunne Gillies.