Cleveland, OH,
14:34 PM

The Giving Doll brings 120 new friends to children at MetroHealth

Our Mission is to give faith, love, joy, hope and comfort to children worldwide, at times of special need through the construction and distribution of handmade cloth dolls.
The Giving Doll

Thanks to a special group of volunteers, there are now 120 new friends for children at MetroHealth. 

These friends are handmade dolls, lovingly stitched by the volunteers at The Giving Doll.

The Giving Doll was started in 2006 by Jan Householder, the home economics teacher at Wadsworth High School, when she made a doll for a colleague's daughter, who was being treated for a brain tumor. After sending the doll to Katherine, who was at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, requests for more dolls came pouring in. Originally, founder Jan Householder planned on making a dozen dolls for the children at the hospital.

Today, over 49-thousand Giving Dolls have been gifted to children throughout the world. Some of them are hospitalized, others have been through a trauma.

All the materials, except for the body fabric and stuffing and some specialized embroidery equipment, are donated.

"God takes care of us and we want to take care of the kids," says Jan. 

It takes 8 hours to complete a doll. Volunteers work on one aspect of the doll, such as hair or an outfit, and then hand the doll off to the next volunteer. Faces are embroidered on to ensure that no little pieces or parts will break off. Their aprons all have pockets for children to place their written poems, wishes or hopes in. Each doll comes with a quilt and a tote and they are named by the women who sew them.

The volunteers at The Giving Doll range in age from 60 to 93 years old. There are sewing circles in 9 states.

The 120 dolls that were given to MetroHealth will go home with children who are in the foster care program and those who are hospitalized, like Reilly, who wanted a doll that looked like a princess. The group is planning on a delivery of dolls every month. 

You can read more about The Giving Doll here. 


About the MetroHealth System

The MetroHealth System, Cuyahoga County’s public health system, is honoring its commitment to create a healthier community by building a new hospital on its main campus in Cleveland. The building, and the 25 acres of green space around it, are catalyzing the revitalization of MetroHealth’s West Side neighborhood.

MetroHealth will break ground on the new hospital in late 2018, using nearly $1 billion it borrowed on its own credit after dramatically improving its finances. In the past five years, MetroHealth’s operating revenue has increased by 44.5 percent and its number of employees by 21 percent. Today, its staff of 7,700 provides care at MetroHealth’s four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. In the past year, MetroHealth has served 300,000 patients at more than 1.4 million visits in its hospitals and health centers, 75 percent of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

The health system is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and the only adult and pediatric burn center in the state of Ohio.

As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to teaching and research. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and its main campus hospital houses a Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school of science and health.

For more information, visit