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Barbie doll clothes sewn with love

What started as a project to help her daughter several years ago has now turned into something bigger for Lunenburg resident Betty Cox.

Cox spent many of her days during the COVID-19 quarantine cleaning previously loved Barbie dolls and sewing clothes from them all to be given away to charity.

Cox cleaned and dressed 74 Barbie dolls and donated them to Gleaning for the World, a humanitarian relief organization that delivers supplies around the work to victims of poverty and natural disasters.

According to Cox, years ago, when her daughter worked at a local dentist’s office, she asked her mother if she could make clothes for previously loved Barbie dolls so that they could be given to little girls who came into the dentist’s office.

“The dolls helped calm the little girl’s nerves about seeing the dentist,” Cox said. “It gave them something to hold on to.”

Over the years, the donations of Barbie dolls began to pour in from people at Cox’s church, friends, and some were purchased at thrift stores.

Cox said she used material that belonged to her mother and some that were donated to sew together the Barbie doll clothes.

“All the clothes are handmade from pieces of material,” Cox said. “I don’t use any patterns; I just put a piece here to make a sleeve and pieces there.”

At 86 years young, Cox said making the dolls clothes gives her something to do to stay active and allows her to give back to the community at the same time.

“It’s nice to wake up each morning and think that there is a child somewhere in the world that has something they can call their own,” Cox said. “Children are so often the last to get something so with these dolls they can have something at night they can hold if they are scared of tired.”

Since donating the barbies to Gleaning for the World, Cox has begun another project of making sock monkeys and said donations of socks are rolling in for her new project.

“I’ll probably donate these to Gleaning for the World too when I am done,” Cox said. “Then I guess I will look for another project.”