Posse Positive Person of the Day – Target Shopper Michelle McHugh Returns Military “Daddy Doll” to 16 Month Old
"Heartwarming" doesn't even begin to describe this story.
Who would think that a lost cloth doll could mean so much to a child whose dad is serving in the armed forces?
Yet that was the situation one good samaritan found herself in one day in the Manalapan Target while shopping.
For those of you who don’t know (and I’m just finding this out myself), a military doll is a cloth doll stuffed with pictures of the soldier serving abroad used to comfort a child awaiting the return of their parent.
Had you found the doll, would you have known of its importance and went the extra mile to get it to its rightful owner?
When 16-month-old Judah Gossett left his doll in a shopping cart at Manalapan’s Target, mom Raynalin Gossett began to panic.
This wasn’t just any doll. The toy is a “daddy doll,” a soft, stuffed military doll with a photo of Judah’s father, Timothy Gossett, affixed to the head. Timothy Gossett is serving in his fifth tour in Afghanistan.
His sons, Judah and Noah, 4, use two identical dolls for comfort while their father, a sergeant with the 10th Brigade Support Battalion stationed in Fort Drum in Jefferson County New York, is gone, Raynalin Gossett said.
“They are really attached to them,” the Manalapan mom said. “Especially the baby.”
Thanks to a good Samaritan and the power of social media, Judah was reunited with his beloved toy on Tuesday.
Michelle McHugh, another Target shopper, found the doll and delivered it to customer service. Before doing so, she snapped a picture and shared it on Facebook.
“I found this little military buddy doll left in a cart at Manalapan Target on Rte. 9,” she captioned the photo. “It has the picture of someone’s dad and there must be a very upset little kid somewhere! I left it with Target customer service.”
More than 25,000 shares and many phone calls later, the campaign reached Raynalin.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “All of these people were calling me asking if we had the doll and I said ‘How do you even know about that,’ but then I saw on Facebook.”
The two women connected over Facebook and Raynalin thanked McHugh.
“Thank you Michelle for finding my son’s doll,” she wrote. “All the shares, just incredible amazing, amazing, thank you world.”
McHugh responded saying it was no problem and she was happy to help a good cause.
The “daddy dolls” came from the U.S. Army’s Family Readiness Group. The organization makes the toys each time a team of troops is deployed, Raynalin said.
“It is a great thing,” she said. “The daddy dolls eat dinner with us every night.”
Timothy will be home this fall, she said. But until then, the dolls will have to do.
Social media gets a big thumbs up, but especially Target shopper Michelle McHugh for going the distance to return the doll to the child .
Michelle McHugh, tonight’s “Ray’s Ray of Hope – Posse Positive Person of the Day!”