Linda Woods and Laurel Kenney, a pair of United Church members from London, have stumbled upon an unusual yet effective way to influence politicians and affect social change: making dolls.

The co-chairs of the London and Middlesex Bread Not Stones campaign – part of a larger, nationwide United Church of Canada campaign to end child poverty – have created and distributed hundreds of handmade rag dolls, known as Dolls of Hope, to politicians with pushing for legislative change and drawing attention to the plight of the estimated 1.3 million Canadian children living in poverty.

Giving dolls to politicians has proven to be a persuasive way of raising awareness about the issue, Woods said.