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Hundreds of Salvation Army dolls left unclothed

An annual holiday event is missing from the calendar this year, the traditional Salvation Army Doll Tea.

The event has a history of over 40 years, has seen dwindling numbers of participants in recent years. In 2010, the event had approximately 200 dolls, about 100 less than the prior year, according to previously published Orange Leader articles.

“The numbers have been dwindling,” Salvation Army Captain Martha Higdon said. “Last year we had 25-30 dolls dressed.”

Dolls and bears dressed in handmade clothing were displayed and judged prior to finding homes with children in need.

In the past, dolls and bears were dressed in elegant evening gowns, wedding dresses, as well as sleepwear, and casual outfits.

This year, six doll dresses were submitted for the event.

“Last year, only two people stopped by to the view the dolls,” Higdon said.

The dolls are given away to girls who are participating in the Angel Tree Christmas program.

The 18-inch baby dolls, this year, remain in cases in storage as they await a special outfit. An outfit needed before they can find a home with a little girl to love and care for them.

Higdon said the event could return next year.

“We would consider holding it again next year if there was a good turn out for it,” Higdon said.

The Salvation Army is still accepting toys, food and monetary donations to help local children have a merrier Christmas.

For more information or to make a donation contact the Salvation Army at 409-291-8400