August 2011

Meet Caroline Archer

I have talked about people who take upon themselves to help others. I have talked about prayer shawl projects, preemie caps, scarves for the troops, and yarn companies with conscience. Today I want you to meet Caroline Archer. She is a retired credit card company executive who brings smiles to very sick kids in hospitals. Her story is inspiring and I hope it will inspire you to use Carolineís patterns to make some sad and sick little girls very happy.

Her inspiration comes from her late mom, who during World War II, cut her wedding dress to make doll-clothes for the girls in her neighborhood. Caroline bought dolls for her granddaughters and made several doll clothes for them. They enjoyed the dolls very much. Based on her husbandís suggestion, she contacted Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University to see if they were interested in her dolls. The response was enthusiastically positive. There are many little girls who go through cancer treatment, heart transplants, dialysis, and many other treatments that would keep them in the hospital for long periods of time. They need comfort. The dolls provide that comfort and help them to relax.

She purchases dolls wholesale and makes ten different outfits for each doll. Some of them are sewn and some include knitted jackets, hats and ponchos. Each doll comes with a canvas bag, so the girls can take their doll home or to treatment centers. For younger children, she has baby dolls that have a knitted cap and a sleeping bag. She is now donating her dolls not only to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University but also to the Childrenís Hospital of Oakland, California.

In the past two years, with the help of friends and a local yarn shop, they have been able to donate 100 dolls and nearly 1,000 outfits, 32 baby dolls for toddlers and younger girls, 27 flannel bears and 10 quilts designed for boys.

Caroline is not allowed to meet the children she helps. She just can hear their stories through hospital staff. The dolls are given to the hospitalís Child Life Specialist who chooses which girls will benefit the most.

For all her hard work and big heart, a local television station has given her the Jefferson Award in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can read about this award on

If you would like to help Caroline in her endeavor, knit items of clothing using her instructions offered on
and contact me for more information on to how to help Caroline. You can also use the same instructions to provide comfort for hospitalized girls in your own area.

Nazanin S. Fard

Needlecraft University

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