The dolls found by Lindsay Olmstead’s children in Riverside Park. Credit: Lindsay Olmstead

Several local children around Kemptville have been the recipients of hand- crafted dolls which were left around town to find, though the identity of this “summer Santa Claus” remains a mystery. The dolls appear to be carefully crocheted by a skilled hand, and each one is unique with different patterns and colours, some appearing with traditionally male characteristics, and others female.

Lindsay Olmstead’s children were some of the lucky recipients who found dolls. “Just want to send a sincere thank you to the person who made these adorable dolls and left them all over Riverside Park today,” she wrote in a post on social media. “My kids were thrilled to find them, and have enthusiastically welcomed ‘Farmer Aaron Gingerbread’ and ‘Alice Puddington’ into the family.” The post received hundreds of positive reactions, and others began sharing similar experiences of finding dolls around town.

While Lindsay’s children found the dolls in Riverside Park, others reported finding dolls on Kinderwood trail, and at the Fergusson Forest Centre and outside of the Bubba and Bugs Coffee Bar. With the goal of having more dolls produced and more kindness spread, many local residents have expressed interest in donating money or wool to the mystery person, who one social media user humorously dubbed “the mysterious serial knitter”. However, the identity of the person remains a mystery, and it is unclear if they will ever come forward. Dozens of people have commended the act of kindness.

When asked if there were any indications of who may have left the dolls, Lindsay said no. “We went to the park to play after an early morning swim lesson, and found them tucked around the structure in plastic bags with notes,” she said. Lindsay also pointed out that the gesture can make a much more significant impact than some people realize. “There’s been a lot of negativity lately and my family has been really feeling it,” she added. “Finding these dolls was a small sign that there is still so much goodness in the world. I know how much work making those dolls must have been, and I can never express enough gratitude to whoever did this for buoying our spirits. My kids smiled all day. I don’t think any of us will forget it.”

The dolls which were left around town to find were packaged in waterproof bags with notes reading, “I am not lost, just looking for a happy home”, which is how parents knew that they were free for the taking. There is no doubt that the project has put many smiles on many young faces.



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