Emily Richey's great-grandmother inspired her to create Dolls for Dementia, a non-profit organization to help Alzheimer's patients.
"I brought my brand new stuffed animal I had gotten for my birthday," Richey says, "and so I bring it to her and she instantly fell in love with it and decided that it was going to be hers. I wanted to be able to recreate the kind of joy that she felt with my stuffed animal and other dementia patients that were like her."
Richey, 15, and her friends presented dolls to residents at Legacy Village in Bentonville Tuesday. Richey says the dolls give patients a purpose in life and bring them joy.
Director Molly Arnold Gay agrees, "When you bring them a doll, those innate characteristics just come back out," Gay says. "They love them, they want to feed them, they talk to them, and it gives them a purpose again. Their life is different from the moment we walk through the door to the moment we leave," said Gay.
Dolls for Dementia has only been around for about a year, already raising over $13,000. Richey says she hopes she can bring the spark of life back to those who may have lost it.
You can read more about the organization by clicking here.