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Museum guest teaches gratitude: a great lesson to learn, at any age

By Beth Morris Nance for the NC Museum o Dolls, Toys & Miniatures

SPENCER — Another successful event in Rowan County highlighting the “Gratitude Theme” was hosted by the NC Museum of Dolls, Toys, and Miniatures. A group of girls and boys, both young and young-at-heart, learned the meaning of gratefulness while exploring the lives of American Girl’s 1940s characters, Molly and Nanea.

The day was packed full of activities including games, American Girl doll displays, door prizes, snacks, souvenirs. The highlight of the day was a special program created by American Girl enthusiast and educator, Cheryl Philips, who traveled from Cary to serve as the event’s guest speaker.

Dressed in costume similar to one “Rosie the Riviter” would have worn, Philips tailored her program to illustrate how these two 9-year-old characters, Molly, Nanea and their families, would have been affected by WWII — one on the home front of WWII in Illinois and one at the start of the war in Hawaii. Both girls were determined to help their neighbors, friends, and family cope with the challenges of war.

Philips shared ideas about a victory garden, recycling metals and gave examples of the kinds of jobs that women and children first had during the war when the majority of men were away from home.

During craft time, everyone had an opportunity to plant their own individual “victory garden” of carrots.
Philips also brought craft materials and blank cards for everyone to create “Gratitude” cards which were given to the local Spencer Fire Department.
Philips conveyed to everyone “Gratitude is the feeling and expression of thankfulness for the actions of others that are costly to them and beneficial to us.”

Spencer Fire Chief, Gray Grubb was on hand to receive the hand-made cards.

After lots of yummy snacks, each attendee received a new doll as a souvenir. Two American Girl Dolls were given away during a special drawing and two lucky winners, one boy and one girl, received them.

This “Molly & Nanea” program is part of the NC Transportation Museum’s 49 Days of Gratitude: A Celebration of Thanks, which celebrates the 70th anniversary of North Carolina’s Merci

Train boxcar’s arrival in Raleigh on Feb. 8, 1949. The Merci Train was a gift to the people of the United States from the people of France, given in appreciation for the United States’ help to the French during World War II.

For more information about the Doll, Toy & Miniature museum Museum visit NCMDTM.com

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