On Monday, Charlotte Gould spoke with Hamlin lower and middle students about her altruistic work making dolls for hospitalized children experiencing surgeries. Charlotte also shared an acronym that she lives by: SEW (Smile, Eye Contact, Welcome). Embracing SEW has opened her to friendships and profound connections with people from all over the world.
At a 20-week ultrasound, Charlotte was diagnosed with a cleft lip & palate — the most common facial birth defect in the United States, affecting every 1 in 700 babies. She had several surgeries and procedures, including two before her first birthday. Doctor visits, planned surgeries, unexpected procedures, and ongoing treatment filled Charlotte’s childhood– along with laughter, dolls, joy and lots of smiles!
Charlotte states: “I was born with a cleft lip and palate. I’ve had several surgeries on my lip, nose, mouth and gums to create the smile you see today. My smile has changed my life, and I want to help other children smile too, especially kids needing surgeries. I know surgeries can be scary, but hugs from family, smiles from friends, and something soft to snuggle can really help. I founded Stitches by Charlotte to support other kids just like me. The purpose of my new surgery companion doll line is to turn scary times into smiles for children facing surgery everywhere!”
Charlotte sewed her first doll to look just like her– long brown braids, glasses, and a sweet smile with a tiny scar. She received so much positive feedback for making a doll that was perfectly “imperfect.” Charlotte began to discover a passion for making dolls with differences. From a doll with a scar across her chest for the tiniest heart warrior, to a doll with a crown of stitches for a brain-surgery sweetie– Charlotte happily sews to make others smile. Requests poured in from people who believe Charlotte’s little dolls can make a big difference.
Charlotte and her dolls have been featured in American Girl magazine & Scholastic News, on Good Morning America, Fox News’ The Five, Disney Radio, and honored at WE Day 2018. Charlotte finds SEW much joy in helping others.
We are honored that Charlotte donated three of her dolls to The Hamlin School.
To learn more please visit: http://www.stitchesbycharlotte.com/