Leutenant Spike Dammit

The

Story Of

'Operation Military Stress Relief Dolls, Inc.'


By
Carol Davis

“Operation Military Stress Relief Dolls” is a project that happened by accident. Many years ago, someone gave me a “Dang-it Doll” I came across it four years ago and decided to make some for my family and friends as gag Christmas gifts. I sent 2 to my Grandson, T.R. who is in the Air Force and was stationed in Aviano, Italy and 1 to a family friend, Larry, who was stationed in Balad, Iraq with our National Guard Unit out of McIntire Air Base here in Columbia, SC. I was sure TR would scream “Grandma, why are you sending me dolls?????????” But instead, He wanted to know if he and the people in his unit sent me some money, would I buy them some more. I told him no, that I had made them and would be happy to make a few more, after all, how many could it be, 5 or 10 maybe? I asked how many wanted one? He said “Everyone”. I got the same response from Larry, in Balad. “Everyone” totaled over 800 dolls. I think my joke backfired and the joke was on me.

I decided, if my silly dolls brought that much joy to our service men and women, I would see that all who wanted one would have one. And that is how “Operation Military Stress Relief Dolls” was born.

As friends and family heard about the project, they offered to help. Some donating material, stuffing, yarn, decorations and last but definitely not least, their time in helping make the dolls.

On Friday, January 21, 2005, we sent our first shipment of 170 dolls to Aviano AFB in Italy, and two weeks later, we sent 250 dolls to the “Catfish” unit of the SC Army Guard in Balad. With the remainder sent several weeks later.

We will continue to make and ship dolls to our military as long as there is a need. These dolls are not for sale, nor are they for anyone else. They are free and only for our wonderful young men and women serving our country with honor.

Attached to each doll is the “Dang-it Doll Mantra” It goes like this:
When your day is stressful
And you want to scream and shout,
Here’s a little “DANG-IT DOLL”
That you can’t live without.
Grasp it firmly by it’s legs 
And find a place to bang it
And as you whack it’s stuffing out
Yell, “DANG-IT, DANG-IT, DANG-IT”
(Copyright © 2008 by OMSRD, Inc. All Rights Reserved)
We also add a note at the bottom thanking them for serving our country and tell them that we are proud of them, from all their friends and family in South Carolina.

The dolls are very simple, and there are no mistakes when making and decorating them. I have used all types of material, including old blue jeans, shirts, hunting shirts and pants and what ever else I can find. This is what gives each doll a distinctive personality. Every doll is an original work of love. When shopping for material, I look for the $1.00 a yard or less tables.

The current cost of making each doll, including shipping is $5.95. This is based on an average shipment of 50 dolls per box. The cost per doll is higher on smaller shipments.

Now bare in mind, these are not just pretty faces to be set on a desk and collect dust. They are to be “USED AND ABUSED” replacements are readily available for the asking.

Here are some pictures of our dolls and works in progress:

Patterns

Workshop

Dolls!


Since our first shipment and as of 01/28/2013, we have shipped over 97,162 dolls to our military in Iraq, Kuwait, Korea, Afghanistan, Germany, Holland, Greenland, Djibouti Africa, Italy, Japan and other countries as well as state side bases. We have been interviewed and featured on local and state wide TV stations and on radio stations across the U.S. as well as magazines and newspapers across the country and overseas. This has helped us with cash donations as well as donations of shipping boxes, fabric, yarn, stuffing material and volunteers to help make the dolls.

We hold several workshops a month here in the Midlands of South Carolina, thanks to the hard work of our Midlands coordinator, Laurie Stokes. The public is invited. Please check our events calendar for details. Several years ago, we expanded our workshops here in the Midlands into the up-state in Greer SC. Rose Beason is our Up-state coordinator and has done a wonderful job of recruiting lots of help in making the dolls and securing donations. If you live in the Up-state, Spartanburg/Greenville area, check our events calendar and join us for one of these workshops. We would love to have you join us!

Laurie Stokes, our Midlands coordinator, has been instrumental in getting the Boy Scouts in the Indian Waters Council involved in the project, as well as the Girl Scouts from the Mountains to the Midlands region. She has encouraged middle school, high school and college students to adopt our program and earn civic volunteer credit hours for their classes.

There is no age or gender barrier for volunteering with us. Our youngest volunteer to date was a little boy 3 years old and boy can he stuff a doll!!! Our oldest volunteer was a sweet lady of 95 and she can sew a head closed by hand with the most beautiful stitching you have ever seen.

This is a labor of love for all of us involved and an on going project. As long as our men and women need them, they will have the doll. It is just our way of sending a little piece of home to them and let them know we are behind them and love them.

In May of 2007, we incorporated as a non-profit organization and in 2008 we received a Copyright for the dolls. We have a wonderful board of directors who are keeping us on the right track to insure continued success of this program. They are: The Honorable Avery Wilkerson, President; Mr. Bob Livingston, Vice-President; myself, Carol Davis, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer; Mr. Donny Burkett, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer; Mr. Stan Myers, Chief Legal Counsel; Mrs. Laurie Stokes, Midlands Coordinator; Mrs. Camille McGinley; Mr. Earl Brown and last, but certainly not least, Mrs. Lisa Ingram. With their help, there is nothing we can’t achieve.

We will be updating you as time goes by. We would love to have you come join us and add to the story.

Sincerely,
Carol Davis
Founder of Operation Military Stress Relief Dolls, Inc.

Updated 01/28/2013
“Working Together To Support And Thank Our Military”




(Copyright © 2014 by OMSRD, Inc. All Rights Reserved)


"Working Together to Support and Thank our Military!"

Operation Military Stress Relief Dolls, Inc.
PO Box 3356
West Columbia, SC 29171
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