I read with personal interest your above titled story in the Sept. 4, 2013 Press Gazette.  I, too, applaud the judge for his insight and compassion to a child that 9 times out of 10 would be lost in the system and/or overlooked at his/her time of most dire need. 

I had a similar experience back in March 2011 after the Japan Earthquake/Tsunami disaster.  I couldn't stop thinking of all those children who survived, but lost family, homes and personal belongings to a horrific life-changing event that came without much warning.  I thought about what I could do and decided to make soft cloth dolls for them to play with, thereby taking the children away from the trauma if only for the time they played. 

I made about 14 dolls and sent them to a world relief organization through my niece who was living in Kamakura, Japan at the time.  I received a wonderful, heartfelt Thank You from them for the donation and it was so good to know that the dolls were appreciated for the sentiment that came with them.  After that I decided to make stuffed animals for local children who may be experiencing some sort of trauma that would benefit from having something to take them away from their pain for however long they could. 

I made approximately 42 animals and dolls to donate to this end.  I contacted the Santa Rosa Sheriff's Office and every child assistance program in Santa Rosa county and Escambia county as well as the Marines Toys for Tots.  Every one of them turned me down because the items weren't "brand new and in packages". 

Without fail that was their reason for not accepting my gift for those children. 

To say that I was disappointed would be the understatement of the century. I finally found an opportunity to donate all of the animals and dolls to an orphanage in the Philippines through the Floridatown Baptist Church in Pace through their sponsorship of missionaries there.  The gift was greatly appreciated by all those children so it all turned out well.  I am still severely disappointed in the local agencies that couldn't see beyond their own rules to give a child a few minutes of respite from pain and suffering through play.


Cyndi Wyant