After three years, a prayer has been answered for Ray Spivey. She wanted to use her basement for a Christian ministry, and it has grown in her words “like wildfire.” Four volunteers came together in 2014 to fulfill a request from a local church that wanted 300 dolls for a mission trip to Nicaragua. These dolls were just not any dolls; they were hand-made salvation dolls. After the 300 were made, they were told they did not need them anymore for the mission trip. Not letting the news disappoint them, they found an alternate.
“The Lord had a different plan for these 300,” she said. “They ended up going to Peru, an Indian reservation in North Dakota, and West Virginia after a devasting flood. The volunteers kept making the dolls, and had made 850 in 2014, also sending them to Cambodia, Jamaica, families displaced by ISIS in Iraq, and several local churches that packed the dolls in their Christmas shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse.
The four volunteers have multiplied to 24 volunteers making dolls, and they hope to produce over 1,000 this year for missions across the globe, bringing love, joy, and peace to children and adults in impoverished nations, shut-ins, the homeless, and people around the world who are suffering from poverty, natural disaster, or various catastrophic circumstances.
You might thing Spivey has a factory in her basement or a sweat shop, but with the group of volunteers, they have developed a strong friendship with one purpose, for the love of Jesus. They also take turns to bringing snacks, they share a devotion and pray for the dolls, their friends and families.
The dolls are all different. They have modified them from the original 300; they are half the size so they are able to fit in a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. Each doll has two sides. One side is a sad face (life without Christ) and the other side is happy (life with Christ).
Each doll wears a necklace of colored beads to indicate a different message in Christ’s story. They will also translate Christ’s message to the language where the dolls are going.There are different jobs for each volunteer. There are pattern cutters, sewing machine workers, stuffers, seamstresses, a face painter, an applique person, a person making the hair, card maker, and a laminator. They also have volunteers who will cut out patterns from their home and send them to the group for completion.
“It means so much to us that the Lord has blessed us to bless the children,” said Pat Eubank, one of the four original members.
Another of the original four, Nita VanDamme said, “We have made a lot of new friends.”
“The dolls are free. Everything is donated. Every time we need something we get it,” said Spivey. “And there has never been a dry period when the dolls did not have a destination.
“We did it to bless others but it is like the blessing is coming back to us,” she said. “Now life has a purpose.”
Dolls on a Mission relies on donated materials to make the dolls. If you would like to help, they need polyester fiber fill, material, craft beads, yarn, and black and white felt tip markers for faces. They also accept cash donations.
To get involved with the group, they meet a couple times a month. Spivey said you do not have to know how to sew or be creative to help create the dolls. “Just come with a happy heart and we will teach you the rest.”
They have also helped other groups in the area to get started.
For more information, contact Pat Eubank at (804) 240-2199 or Ray Spivey at (804) 748-4041.