JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WCTI) -- Amid recent deployments of service members across the country, one business in North Carolina is looking out for the children and loved ones of those who put themselves in harm's way.
Dyal Studios in Jacksonville, located just miles from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, is giving away one mommy or daddy doll each week for the next 12 weeks to families with a loved one who’s deployed.
An effort to comfort those in owner Tricia Dyal's community quickly revealed a need for dolls across the country. Dyal said her hope is to get sponsors to join them with getting hug-a-hero dolls to all military children with a deployed mother or father.
Dyal is a military spouse herself and knows the struggles of dealing with a loved one's deployment. Her husband was deployed for eight months while their two children were young, so she created “daddy dolls.”
“He feared coming home and his kids not knowing who he is. So, being able to come home and be recognized because of a doll is huge,” she said. “And I think that there’s so many stories and I think that connection and knowing that you’re a part of every day makes us all feel connected.”
This is the first time the studio has given away the hug-a-hero dolls and Dyal says they’re excited to help families cope with missing a loved one that’s deployed.
"Look at how much awareness has been made just from our little studio donating 12 dolls?" Dyal wrote in a statement. "The impact is huge. The NEED is NOW as so many of our loved ones are in harms way or are preparing to be."
If you or someone you know needs a hug-a-hero doll, simply enter them for a chance to win on Dyal's website.