GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Two former East Carolina University students have turned their business into a free way to give back to children and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kristin Broadwell and her sister Brooke started “Paper People Play” a few years ago.

Their goal was to engage children in the art of paper dolls, which has been around since the early 1800’s.

The company also encourages children to create their own stories through drawings, costumes, and more.

Since the pandemic, Paper People Play has been offering dolls and costumes for free.

Families and children can find them online, print it out, cut the dolls out with scissors, color them, and get to telling their story.

With children and their parents stuck inside right now due to quarantine, it’s easy to run out of activities to do.

That’s where Paper People Play comes in.

“It gets their mind off things,” said CEO Kristin Broadwell.

“It allows them to create, and just get their mind off what’s going on. Or maybe they could talk about what’s going on through their stories, it allows them to write and create their own stories. Maybe they could reflect what they’re feeling inside.”

Broadwell says the dolls are also focused on diversity, coming in different shapes, sizes, and ethnicity to help relate to children from all over.

Broadwell also says their dolls have been a hit not just here in North Carolina, where they originated, but even as far as London.

Click here to head to the website and learn more.