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A giant doll house, big enough for dozens of children to play with.
Paul Brosseau called it “what Christmas is all about.”
Brosseau built this multistory doll house and helped deliver it to its new home at the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Lebanon.
Ten days ago, he and a crew of inmates he oversees at the Southeast State Correctional Facility in Windsor made the doll house to a very specific set of requirements.
“We wanted kids to be able to stand up and play, to sit down and play – we wanted it for our smallest patients and some of our bigger kids,” said Jessica Laperle, a representative at the hospital. “We also wanted kids that were in wheelchairs or in stretchers to be able to also really feel included in the play.”
Hospital representatives say they think the dollhouse will be a helpful tool for kids recovering from treatment. And Brosseau said he was happy to help.
“Especially this time of year, giving back to the community – what better way to give back to the community than to, uh, for the sick children, the children visiting the hospital to have something to play with,” said Brosseau.
But this isn’t Brosseau’s or the prison crew’s first project. For this Christmas, they built nearly 475 wooden toys for children in need.
“He (Brosseau) makes doll houses for us – on a smaller scale – but as soon as they brought it out and they land on the floor at the distribution center, they’re gone!” said Rick Maynard of Toys for Tots.
This is the fourth year the prison has partnered with the foundation. And Brosseau says the opportunity gives back not just to the children, but also to the men who make the toys.
“The other great thing about this is the people who built this got to learn, they did the math, they did the layout,” Brosseau said. “I mean, they were down there this morning — a little after 6 o’clock this morning — loading it to make sure it was ready to go.”
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