Our Mission... To provide comfort to children with cancer & their siblings during this difficult time.
At any time a child can be stricken with a catastrophic disease and be in treatment at any hospital for sometimes more than a year. While one parent will stay with the child the other one may have to return home to work as well as the siblings or their friend have to return to school. This can be stressful on the entire family. Project Maisie Hugs is 501 C 3 Non Profit charitable organization sponsored by Operation Give a Hug and was established in 2012 by a mother & Grandmother of a St. Jude patient diagnosed with ependymoma (brain cancer) at the age of 2-1/2. With the grandparents and brother visiting each weekend for 4 months the goodbyes on Sundays were still painful and real. With project Maisie Hugs our goal is to give comfort to these children by giving them special dolls to remind them of their family member or friend. Each doll provides a place to put a photo of the one they are missing and can’t be there with them during treatment, whether it be mom, dad, brother, sister, friend or a grandparent Project Maisie Hugs wants to give these children a tangible way of relating to the one they are miss.
Dear Friends of Project Maisie hugs,
As of Dec 31st we will no longer be an organization due to circumstances beyond our control. We started this organization back March of 2012. We have given away around 750 dolls to children with cancer and their sibling. We also have given them to children that are missing their siblings due to earning their angel wings way too soon.
Back in 2012 when we decided to start this organization a wonderful lady named Susan Agustin helped me with every step of getting this organization up and running. We have since then became friends, even though I have never met her in person I can tell you she is a very kind and giving person. We have had many long conversations over the phone when I would say “no I can’t do this its way too hard and I would quit and she would be there to encourage me. You may know Susan she is the founder of Operation give a hug. They give dolls to children who have a mommy or daddy that are leaving for a deployment. She has been running her organization since 2004. Before I even thought about this organization I had called Susan and ask her to send my grandson one of her military dolls because my youngest son was headed out for his first deployment, she was more than happy to send him a doll even though it was the Army that she got all her funding from and my son was in the Marines. The next time I remember talking to her was just to ask her how she started the organization, we talked for a couple hours and when I hung up I told my husband we will never get this thing going! You have to have a tax ID number and that takes money and we had none, all I wanted to do was have fund raisers and give dolls to children with cancer that were missing their mom or dad or sibling due to having to stay in the hospital for treatment. Trust me it’s not that easy! I think it was the next day and I was still trying to wrap my head around everything Susan and I had talked about and she called me back and she “Gayla I don’t want you to worry about a thing, you can use our tax ID number and I have 2 professional accountants that have agreed to take you under their wing and do it for free!” I was speechless! Susan has been my angel. She also helped me get our first order of custom made dolls which took over a year from start to finish.
Well the time has come for Susan to close her organization Operation Give a Hug also. She received all her funding from the Army and they have decided they don’t have the money in their budget to give her anymore. Our last day as an organization will be Dec 31 2014. We will continue to give the dolls away that we have but we won’t be ordering anymore and we are unable to receive any more donations. The donate button has been removed from our website.
While running this organization I have met many many families that I still keep in contact with, some of them have children that have earned their angel wings and that always sad to hear. Not only have I became friends with the parents but being a grandma to Maisie & Liam I have become friends many of the children’s grandma’s. We still talk to each occasionally on facebook and they are always there for me when its scan time for Maisie. It’s been a wonderful humbling journey and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!
We would like to thank everyone that has donated their time and money and support to help us out and there are so many people that I can’t even start to name them all I would be afraid I would miss someone.
We (Laniesa, Phil & I) believe we have done what God wanted us to do even though our organization had a short run the kids that got the dolls were the ones that God knew needed a hug.
Project Maisie Hug Founders
Gayla , Laniesa & Phil
Maisie hug dolls are free to kids with cancer. They are also free to siblings of kids with cancer.We do ask that you only request one doll per child.