TORONTO -- Now more than ever, health-care workers know they’ve signed up for a tough job – it’s part of the sacrifice they’ve made to serve society on a daily basis.

But what about the children they’ve left at home while they are at work? How do they handle the fear of their parents possibly getting sick during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A Toronto-based company is trying to help those children cope, by mailing them free, custom-made crochet dolls designed to look like their heroic mothers and fathers.


“I have a son, and I know how much he misses me when I’m at work,” Tracy Vu of CroChic Shop Canada, said. “When the pandemic started, I just thought about all the children of nurses and doctors. I wanted to do something for them.”


In the last two months Vu, aided by two friends, has mailed more than 60 dolls to health-care workers across the country. She vows to provide her hand-stitched toys to any health-care worker who asks until the pandemic is over. If a picture is included with a request, she’ll make her creations appear as lifelike as possible, providing children with a hand-held superhero version of their parents to play with.

Sharon Krause, a registered nurse, reached out to Vu through her Facebook group. A short time later, a pair of dolls had arrived in the mail for her eight-year-old daughter Georgia.

“My daughter was really nervous every time I went to work that I’d catch the virus,” Krause, who works in a Toronto-area intensive care unit, said. “I’m incredibly grateful to Tracy. So many people think of health-care workers, but to do something like this for our children? It’s huge.”


“I liked my mom’s job before she had to work with the coronavirus,” Georgia Krause said while clutching a doll, made in her mother’s image, during a video conference call with CTV News Toronto. “It’s scary.”

In addition to a parent doppelganger doll, each package also contains a thank you note, and one more toy that’s become a surprise hit, a tiny crochet virus creature meant to put a friendly face on COVID-19 fears.

covid-19 doll

While the dolls will remain free, Vu, who works full-time in a laboratory, has a backlog of orders. She said people can contribute to her mailing and material costs through donations on her Facebook page.

“It just makes me proud and happy that I could do something for society.”