Thousands of kids whose parents are overseas serving in the military cling to the memory of hugging their daddy or mommy thanks to the Hug-A-Hero doll, which is imprinted with a photo of their parent in uniform.
The dolls, which are free to families, help kids cope while mothers or fathers are away, said executive director Lisa Berg of Hudson, Florida.
“There’s nothing else like it,” Berg said. “They’re hugging their parent.”
Alamae is 7 years old and loves to keep her doll close. “She brings her daddy to school and shows him to everyone,” said her mom, Amanda Beltran. “It is her favorite thing to take for show and tell — it makes her so proud!”
“These dolls are the most amazing thing ever created,” added Mrs. Beltran.
Operation Hug-a-Hero was started three years ago by the Michigan company Daddy Dolls.
Currently, there’s a waiting list of 800 military children.
You can get more information or provide a doll by donating on their website www.operationhugahero.org.