When Jean Stalcup spotted Glory Rodriguez at church, she knew two things: Rodriguez was new to New Covenant Church and she was sporting some seriously awesome glasses.
The ladies soon found themselves in a prayer group in which they first got to know one another, and found that they had a lot in common, including running. The women soon began running together, and were joined by their pastor’s wife, Elena McLendon. The three trained for a half marathon, which they completed last fall.
But it was later on in a class on the Holy Spirit that the partnership between Stalcup and Rodriguez was not only challenged but strengthened.
“God gave me a vision. It was the first one I had ever had,” Stalcup said. “It happened in class. We were praying together, and I put my hands on her shoulders, and I got this vision. We were somewhere, we’re not sure where, but we were giving dolls to little children.”
Rodriguez and her family are new to Statesboro, having moved here from Puerto Rico. She had made dolls while living there, and had donated some to children with cancer, so she had experience. Stalcup, however, did not. But both women could sew, and both loved kids, and they both wanted to help those in need.
Stalcup, who is a high school English teacher, says that she’s seen that there are very real circumstances in which local children need to be comforted and made to feel safe.
“Working in the public school system, you see things, and you see circumstances for kids. Yeah, you love on them when you’re there, but a lot of times, you don’t see what happens. But you know that they need something else, and this is what God says he wants us to do with the gifts that we have,” she said.
“This is an assignment from God,” Rodriguez said. “I am very blessed, so when God called me, I said, of course I will take the assignment.”
It was from this vision, this desire to help less fortunate children that All For His Glory Foundation was born. Rodriguez and Stalcup began their discussion and planning last October. Rodriguez enlisted the help of her friend in Puerto Rico, Coralys Rodriguez — who had also hand-made her glasses — to help design the print for the fabric to make the dolls. Once the design was in place, the fabric was printed in the U.S., but COVID-19 made getting the fabric a bit tricky.
Eventually, the ladies had the fabric in hand, and Rodriguez made the first 12 dolls so that she could figure out the best method to follow. Once she had that done, she taught Stalcup, and the two women have since made 24 dolls, which they donated to the Statesboro Police Department on July 30. The plan is to provide another 100 dolls, so that each of the 60 patrol cars in the department will have two dolls, one for male children and one for female.
The purpose of the dolls is to provide comfort for children in stressful situations, whether that means a domestic situation or at the scene of an accident. Officers will be able to offer a doll to a child, which will provide much needed peace in those situations.
Rodriguez and Stalcup say the dolls are designed to stay in the squad cars, but if a child gets attached and doesn’t want to give the doll back, they’ll replace it.
“There will be times when things are just so traumatic, the child just doesn’t want to let the doll go,” Stalcup said. “And it’s like, take it.”
Once the dolls for the SPD have been completed, the ladies are looking for other partnerships with other law enforcement agencies, and they also want to work on an international level.
“When we do something local, we want to find something international that helps with kids in difficult situations,” Stalcup said.
Everything has been funded so far by donations, and with the support of New Covenant Church. The ladies made masks as their first fundraiser. Each doll costs about $10 to make. Donations help to purchase supplies such as thread, poly-fil and transfer paper, as well as materials for tags and scripture appliques.
Making the dolls is very time consuming, since both ladies have many other commitments both inside and outside of their homes. But for them, it’s all worth it.
“My child has been very privileged,” Stalcup said. “But in the instance that he wasn’t, I would donate because I would want there to be something like this in place for him. A lot of us are very used to thinking within our own box. You don’t often realize the necessity. It is a need. In our society, a lot of things are just thrown away. Our kids can’t be one of them.”
To donate or learn more about All For His Glory Foundation, go online at www.allforhisgloryfoundation.com. You can also find the organization on Facebook and Instagram.