Izzy Dolls for Syrian Refugees

December 03, 2015 4 Comments

Have you heard about the Izzy Dolls?  Izzy Dolls are named for Mcpl Mark Isfield, a Canadian solider who served - and was later killed - in Croatia in the early 1990's.  After coming across an abandoned doll in a pile of rubble, Mark realized that many children had lost their possessions because of the war. After hearing this story, Mark's mother, Carol, decided to help these children by creating small dolls which could be carried by soldiers and handed out to the children they encountered.  Since then, more than 1.3 million dolls have been given out by Canadian soliders and health care workers serving in war zones and disaster areas around the world.

There is now a request for Canadians to create more Izzy Dolls, which will be distributed to the Syrian Refugee children who are coming to Canada.  We will be collecting the dolls at Wet Coast Wools, in a joint effort with Curves Kitsilano.  All the dolls we collect will be delivered to organizations working with the incoming Syrian Refugees; any surplus dolls will be passed on to the Canadian Military and International Health organizations who can distribute the dolls around the world.

Patterns for the Izzy Dolls can be found at Izzydoll.ca.  The crochet pattern starts about mid-page, and the knit pattern is at the very bottom. We also have copies of the knit pattern at the store, so please ask for one next time you stop by!  These dolls are very easy to create, and can be knit flat and seamed, or knit in the round. The pattern calls for lightweight, acrylic yarns, such as Cascade Cherub Baby or Snuggly DK.

For more information about the Izzy Dolls and this particular call for the dolls, please see the following links:

Mark Isfield Memorial Page: Izzydoll.ca

'The Canadian Military is hoping to recruit volunteers with a specific skill set: Knitting'National Post article, November 20, 2015.

'Knitters Wanted: Group seeks "Izzy Dolls" for Syrian Refugee Children', CTV News article, November 26, 2015.

This will be an ongoing collection, so there is no cut-off date for collection of the dolls.

4 Responses


March 25, 2019

Hi Jennifer,

The patterns are available online at http://izzydoll.ca/dolll/dolll.html They have both knit and crochet patterns, so you can choose to make either one.



March 23, 2019

I would like to knit some of these dolls for you as I knit a lot of hats and blankets for charities, please could I have the patterns thankyou

john j metcalfe
john j metcalfe

March 08, 2016

we have 3 large knitting groups in nl and have sent hundreds of dolls and caps i have spoke to mrs willbond in Victoria who is still accepting these items/ our problem is getting some one to ship them from nl. if you know of a source we will greatly appreciate knowing. i am in victoria until the last of this month and can be reached at 709 425 1639


February 06, 2016

the history of these dolls goes back a lot further than 1990, they were originally knit, or sew the story goes, to fill in the spaces left when donated goods were sent to countries like Africa. They made the cargo more secure and were gifts for the children when the contents were unpacked. I have the hand typed pattern that my mother used! Also the dolls are not to sold, just to be donated…

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