Mom Creates 'Dolls for Downs' Because Every Kid 'Deserves a Best Friend'

Inspiring 9

dolls for downsI've always thought it was really important for kids (not just girls!) to have dolls they can relate to, physically -- to see themselves represented in their collection of toys. This probably has something to do with the fact that I grew up as a little brown-haired girl in the days of blonde-only Barbie dolls. (Can brown-haired girls "do anything" too, Barbie? Apparently not!) Anyway, my complaints were retrospectively quite petty, especially compared to what Hannah Feda must have felt when, at 9 years old, she noticed that, while there were dolls in a toy catalog that looked like her younger sister, there weren't any dolls that looked like her. Hanna Feda, now 13, has Down syndrome.

Hanna's mom Connie started searching for dolls specifically made for kids with Down's, but couldn't find anything to her liking. So the mom of six decided to make her own (cause she wasn't busy enough already?! God bless this woman!).

What began as a project turned into something much larger. Called "Dolls for Downs," this is how Connie describes her company on Facebook:

"Our mission is simple. Represent children with disabilities in an honest, favorable light and give kids with disabilities a friend for life."

Incredibly moving, though the simplicity of the Dolls for Downs website tagline is somehow even more touching:

"Because everybody deserves a best friend."

That just about says it all, doesn't it? And it's heartbreaking to think that anyone could ever think otherwise ... or just not think about it at all. In my opinion, and I'm sure in the opinion of many others, Connie Feda is nothing short of a hero.

Do you feel like your child has a doll that accurately represents her or him?


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in the news, toys, special needs


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nonmember avatar Dianne

I awwwwwed out loud. Made me happy, warm, and fuzzy inside. Way to go mom!

tuffy... tuffymama

I don't know how you survived the hardship of brown hair as a child. Phew! Jeez.

These dolls are cute. I would buy one for a child with DS.

Rando... Randomlady

I love this! Another heartwarming story is I met a lady who actually spent all her time knitting little african dolls to send to the poor, underpriviledged kids in Africa so they can play with something that looked like them, cutest little things.

miche... micheledo

Love these!!  I just went and liked her page on fb.

bills... billsfan1104

I love this and thank you for letting us know about it

nonmember avatar Christina

We pre-ordered our BOY doll for our 3 year old little boy, Carter who has Down Syndrome. We Thank you for all the hard work and love you put into the dolls. We are hoping that Carter will quit torturing his older sister by taking her dolls (doubt it), it's way to fun to hear her squeal!! We are making sure everyone we know in our Down Syndrome Family is aware of your dolls and hope we can get a bunch sold!!!

nonmember avatar Azalia

I ordered one for our baby girl Alley who has Down syndrome! I am so excited to get her doll! :-) I think this is a wonderful thing to do! <3

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