Online Originals: ‘Hug a Hero’ dolls are helping families fill a void amid recent military deployment

Online Originals

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A Facebook post asking to nominate military families to win a ‘Hug a Hero’ doll went from 12 submissions to over 2,000 in a week.

“Daddy Dolls” was a company started by Tricia Dyal and a friend in 2005 after Dyal’s husband was deployed.

“It was for my kids… they were 2 weeks into the deployment, my husband was gone both girls were sick and hospitalized and all my 3 year old wanted was her daddy..” Tricia Dyal, Owner 

Fast forward 15 years later, Tricia and her studio manager Carol Jamison thought they would giveaway dolls to military families amid recent deployments.

A local real estate agent donated $5,000 to the cause, challenged others to do the same and from there, submissions started rolling in.

“We were doing the tag and share thing, we had 12 people enter and that’s it so we drew a name last Monday and then by Wednesday I was receiving almost 100 nominations an hour.” Carol Jamison, Studio Manager 

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