Kentucky School Advocate
By Brenna R. Kelly
Hundreds of Kentucky children received dolls for Christmas thanks to two school board members.
The members, Ambrose Wilson of Woodford County and Steven Faulk of Hopkins County, are bound by more than just their board service; they are united in their love of Karen Faulk Wilson.
“Karen was always a very giving person, and she always enjoyed making sure that little girls had baby dolls for Christmas,” said her husband Ambrose Wilson. “It was a passion for her.”
When Karen died in September at age 61 after a battle with dementia, her husband vowed to carry on her mission. In lieu of flowers, Wilson asked for donations to buy dolls to distribute at Christmas.
“I just felt like keeping the tradition of getting little girls baby dolls would keep her memory alive,” he said, “and I want to keep her wish that little girls have baby dolls alive for as long as we can.”
When it came time to distribute the 280 dolls he had collected, Wilson decided to enlist the help of Karen’s brother Steven.
Together the two took 40 dolls to Grapevine Elementary where the siblings attended school and which is in the district Faulk represents.
“The kids were elated when they saw us come in,” he said. “We put joy on a lot of faces.”
Growing up, Karen was especially fond of her dolls and had one special doll she carried for years, Faulk said.
“We all got a toy and we all got an item of clothing (for Christmas),” he said. “We didn’t want for anything, but seven kids is a lot.”
In addition to Grapevine, Wilson distributed 100 to Woodford County’s four elementary schools. At Hopkins and Woodford, the Family Resource and Youth Service Center coordinators distributed the dolls to the students most in need, he said.
The other 140 dolls were given to children’s hospitals and family shelters, Wilson said.
Wilson hopes to expand the program beyond the holiday season.
“If a baby doll is important at Christmas it can be important in sickness, it can be important in times of sadness,” he said. “We are going to keep going as long as we can.”
Faulk believes his sister would approve of the brothers-in-law’s effort to keep her mission going.
“I think she would just be tremendously excited and happy,” he said. “I mean there’s no doubt.”
Donations are accepted at Karen’s Christmas Baby Dolls, P.O. Box 3999, Midway, Ky. 40347
Top photo: Hopkins County board member Steven Faulk (left) and Woodford County board member Ambrose Wilson (right), who are brothers-in-law, drop off baby dolls before Christmas at Grapevine Elementary. Faulk and Wilson want to carry on Karen Faulk Wilson’s memory through giving dolls to students who might not otherwise get a doll for Christmas. (Photos Hopkins County Schools)
Bottom photo: Woodford County Schools Family Resource and Youth Service Center coordinators Olivia Britton (left) and Abby Van Meter (far right) distributed the dolls to students. Wilson, center left and Woodford board member Dani Bradley delivered the dolls to the centers. (Photo provided by Woodford County Schools)