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Woman gives comfort of Christmas gifts

Posted at 4:36 AM, Dec 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-26 00:20:31-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The message behind the giving is one that lasts all year.

Imagine celebrating Christmas thousands of miles away from home - and getting gifts from a complete stranger.

These kids go to a church where many are African refugees.

Sandra Collins, director of the Handle Me With Care Dolls Foundation, has handed out dolls at Christmas in Tallahassee for four years. In a way, she says, the dolls are outlets for children.

"They can tell all their problems to their doll," Collins said. "When they need comfort, they can hug their doll. When they need a friend, they can have a doll."

While the dolls are generally given to young girls, one of the dolls was given to a Tallahassee woman who's been through a lot this year.

Vanessa Henry, the great-Aunt of Tiffany Nance, said:

"It's one day at a time. It's a healing process that they're going through right now."

Henry has been caring for the children of her niece, Tiffany Nance, who was murdered in January.

"It's been very difficult with the loss of their mother," Henry said. "They were spending time with her last Christmas."

It's been tough on Vanessa, too. She says she was sexually abused - and so was Tiffany.

Collins recently spoke about pain. "Give the doll your pain, because you are opening up more eyes to those who have been abused and gone on," she said.

The small gift means a lot to Henry. "I will treasure this everyday," she said. "I will resort my pain, my questions to this doll."

Collins that that "If they just hold on to Jesus' hand or God's hand, He'll lead them. He'll walk them through their hurt and through their pain."

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