Dot Powell’s singing a new song

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 4, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Dot Powell lost her husband, Raymond, five years ago and she found that she was left with a great deal of unfulfilled time. She turned that around, however, when she began sewing for the Salvation Army’s annual effort to provide dolls to underprivileged children in Suffolk.

Powell had retired from Webster Brick Company after 18 years, so with no career and no husband to care for, she found herself feeling empty.


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&uot;When you lose someone you love, you cry so much it nearly destroys you in the beginning,&uot; said Powell. &uot;After a time, you realize your life is fading away before you and you have to make a change. I was a member of Pickard Chorale, the YMCA Chorus, and the Bethlehem Church Choir. I also sing with the Choir Director Richard Barnes with two groups and another choir. Still, I found myself with too much time on my hands. You can’t sing all day long.&uot;

Currently, Powell is singing a new song, however, since she’s found a way to channel her sorrows in a productive direction. She is currently serving her third year as a volunteer for the Salvation Army.

&uot;I’ve dressed the doll babies the Salvation Army gives to Santa to deliver to children, doing all the sewing of their clothes in my home,&uot; she said. &uot;The Salvation Army calls me in August to give me the babies, and I go to their headquarters to pick up 36 dolls. I do my sewing in the mornings and it takes me around two months to dress them all.&uot;

Like all Salvation Army volunteers who dress the dolls, Powell supplies the materials including fabric and threads, and trims like lace and ribbons. She creates the beautiful doll dresses from scratch using patterns supplied by the Salvation Army.

&uot;Christmas was always a very special time to me and my husband and our two sons, Raymond Jr. and David,&uot; said Powell. &uot;We have so many wonderful memories and if one of these doll babies can bring a smile to a child then its well worth the time and money. Regardless of how you live, Christmas and Santa Claus… that should be a very special memory for each and every child.

Powell plans to go shopping today, and once she’s purchased her groceries the next stop will be over at 400 Bank Street to deliver the beautifully dressed dolls to the Salvation Army headquarters.