If you visit Riverton Park United Methodist Church on a Thursday
morning, stay out of the way …
Betty Lou Stout/Riverton Park United Methodist Church: “It’s a regular
…or be put to work.
Betty Lou Stout: “They tell me I head up this place up.”
Betty Lou Stout has a couple hundred dolls to get ready for Christmas.
Betty Lou Stout: “I just hate to think of any little child not having a
toy under the Christmas tree. I can’t think of anything worse.”
She and her 1922 Singer have been hard at work – 11 months out of the
year, for 35 years – leading a team that sews handmade clothes for
discarded, donated dolls.
Often, they come in neglected and in need of TLC. They get their hair
brushed, custom crocheted booties …
Betty Lou Stout: “This is one of the little dresses that will do on this
...and always a beautiful dress.
Betty Lou Stout: “What I told the girls when we first started was always
remember to make the dress look like if it was the only toy their child
was going to get.”
They work all year until just before Christmas …
…when the fruits of their labor are brought to the sanctuary, where the
congregation prays they’ll bring happiness to a homeless or
underprivileged little girl.
The Rev. Karla Fredericksen/Riverton Park United Methodist: “Pick a
doll, and send your special prayer upon that doll.”
Betty Lou Stout: “There’s 330 dolls. That represents a lot of work.”
Three-hundred and thirty dolls – that is a lot. But to the ladies who
labored over them, each one is special, each is loved – just like the
child who will receive it.
Betty Lou Stout: “We just hope and pray that they go to children that
need them, and that they’ll know that they’re loved.”
The dolls were donated to social service agencies to be given as
Christmas gifts for underprivileged children. The “doll dressers” will
take a break over the holidays, and then start again in mid-January.
By the way, the husbands don’t just sit around – they help with odd jobs
around the church, and they make wooden toys for boys.
For more information, or to donate a doll, supplies or money, call
Riverton Park United Methodist Church at 206-246-1436. You may also mail
donations to: Doll Dressers, c/o Riverton Park UMC, 3118 S. 140th St.,
Tukwila, WA 98168.