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 is redefining health care by going beyond medical treatment to improve the foundations of community health and well-being: affordable housing, a cleaner environment, economic opportunity and access to fresh food, convenient transportation, legal help and other services. The system strives to become as good at preventing disease as it is at treating it.

The system’s more than 600 doctors, 1,700 nurses and 7,800 employees go to work each day with a mission of service, to their patients and to the community. As Cuyahoga County’s safety-net health system, MetroHealth plays an essential role in the region, caring for anyone and everyone, regardless of an ability to pay.

Founded in 1837, MetroHealth operates four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. The system serves more than 300,000 patients, two-thirds of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

MetroHealth is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and Ohio’s only adult and pediatric trauma and burn center.

As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to research and to teaching and training tomorrow’s caregivers. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Its main campus hospital houses the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Lincoln-West School of Science & Health, the only high school in America located inside a hospital.

Knowing that good health is about much more than good medical care, MetroHealth has launched the Institute for H.O.P.E.™ (Health, Opportunity, Partnership, Empowerment), which uses a coordinated, collaborative and strategic approach to help patients with non-medical needs such as healthy food, stable housing and job training.

The MetroHealth Glick Center, a new 11-floor hospital, is under construction on the system’s main campus in Cleveland and is scheduled to welcome its first patients in October 2022. The billion-dollar project is the cornerstone of a wider neighborhood revitalization effort led by the system and its partners in the community.

For more information, visit