How one local woman learned to smile again

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – What started as a hobby for a local woman has turned into a side job. Instead of getting paid in cash, she’s getting paid in smiles.

Since this summer Phyllis Doll has been on a mission to make people happy, by giving them handmade pockets.

She spends her free time making the pockets which consists of a mesh plastic canvas that is stitched together. Each pocket is specially made and has a little treat, like a candy cane and a note inside.

Doll doesn’t do it alone, she created a group that she calls ‘Team Care,’ made of up a few of her friends and her sister Janice Masters, “Its just been a team effort,” Doll said.
“I mean, Janice just jumped in, it was like a race. Her husband said she’s working like she’s making $20 an hour.”

For Doll this mission to make people smile stemmed from a time when she herself was having a tough a time smiling, “She passed away in March,” Doll said, referring to her best friend  Carlene. “I had been friends with her for 57 years.”

Before Carlene passed away Phyllis stayed busy by taking care of her best friend. Phyllis mentioned how on a weekly basis she would visit Carlene, or take her to her doctors appointments, “Then all of a sudden I didn’t have her anymore,” Doll said. “And it was like what am I going to do with my time?”

It didn’t take long for her to find her new calling. Each pocket that Phyllis makes goes to veterans, cancer patients and children in need. Anyone who could use a boost.

“One little smile means we’ve done our job,” Doll said.

And in doing so, even Doll found her smile again.




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