Izzy Dolls are a gift of Peace and Love
Regina Region Local Immigration Partnership (RRLIP) states that the ‘Izzy dolls’ which cannot be bought or sold for profit, were inspired by and named after Master Cpl. Mark Isfeld of No. 1 Combat Engineer Regiment, who served on peacekeeping missions in Kuwait and Croatia in the early 1990s.
He thought of these dolls because he felt very bad about the suffering he witnessed of the children he encountered. Because these children had to leave dangerous situations in a fast manner, many children he met had no toys or personal possessions as they had to leave their toys behind.
His mother, Carol Isfeld, started knitting little woolen dolls that he could give to the children he met. Isfeld was killed in Croatia in 1994 while removing landmines and his mother has since died. But the legacy of the Izzy dolls lives on.
Antoinette Fortier said she likes to crochet these dolls because it gives her something creative to do and it helps children in other countries as it gives them something to play with and cuddle and it helps them to deal with trauma.
Fortier started crocheting the Izzy dolls in 2016 after she read on the internet that Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 39 needed some Izzy dolls to send to other countries. A bit later, when she belonged to VegMin Knitting Circle, the people in the group decided to make some during their time together and donate the dolls to RCL Branch No. 39. Over the years, she crocheted around 52 dolls. This year, she made 20 Izzy dolls and donated them to RCL Branch No. 39 on October 29.