By Sarah Read
Area residents young and old are helping to dress dolls for charity once again this season for United Bank of Michigan’s Dress the Dolls Program for North Kent Community Services (formerly the North Kent Service Center). This year, a group of homeschool students from Greenville Michigan Inclusive Connection for Home Learners contributed to the event, dressing 10 of approximately 100 dolls bought by the bank and picked up by volunteers to dress and return for children in need.
Each year the dressed dolls, many accompanied by elaborate sets and accessories, are on display at the bank for several weeks, allowing community members to vote on the best-dressed doll. Last year’s winner was Christine Green, who dressed a doll as an eloquent Christmas Ice Skater.
For the families of Greenville Homeschoolers, the goal is not to get the most votes, but to teach the valuable lesson of charity as the kids either picked out or helped create the clothes themselves and dressed them for other children in greater need. “It seems like each year the holiday season becomes more and more ‘me’ focused,” shared homeschool mom, Stephanie Herzog. “We saw this as an opportunity to remind our kids that this time of year is about something bigger and better than just what they might get under the Christmas tree.”
Dolls will be on display at United Bank of Michigan on 10 Mile Road and Northland Drive in Rockford until December 3. They will be dropped off at North Kent Community Services on December 4 where they will be distributed to families in need through the center’s annual Christmas gift baskets.
“What we have found about this program over the years is that it really pulls the community together,” shared Rockford branch manager, Nancy Martin. “There are great back stories from the people who dress the dolls year by year and the biggest benefit is we get to bring smiles to one hundred children on Christmas day.”
For more information, contact United Bank at 616-863-6081.