Eighteen-month-old Kenley Britton carries her “daddy doll” with her everywhere. The stuffed doll has a photo of her father, a Marine who is deployed overseas, and every time Kenley squeezes her doll, the voice box inside plays a recording of her father saying “Hi Kenley! I love you!”
Kenley and her mother were flying from Hartford, Connecticut to Atlanta last week, en route to their home in Beaufort, GA when the doll went missing, somewhere along the way.
Kenley’s mother, Arielle, said she didn’t realize it was missing until they boarded their next flight.
“I realized that we didn’t have him, so I told the flight attendant, and she got in touch with the gate,” Britton said. “Things started rolling from there.”
Britton said she posted a message about the lost doll on Facebook, from where it was shared on Twitter by another friend. That’s when it went viral.
Delta put out its own “APB" on the doll, and it was finally found on Friday.
The airline decided simply putting Kenley’s “daddy doll” in the mail to her simply wouldn’t do, so they flew the doll to her closest airport, Savannah/Hilton Head International, where Kenley was reunited with it.
Two Delta employees returned the doll to Kenley and surprised her with a stuffed Delta airplane and American flags.
My heart is so full!— Angie Angers (@angie_angers) February 10, 2020
Here is the moment Kenley was reunited with her ‘Daddy Doll’ ❤️ Her mom says @Delta located the doll after it was accidentally left on a plane and flew it back to her. So happy to see this happy ending! pic.twitter.com/CXPOftUcqK
Two moms started Daddy Dolls in 2005 after witnessing first-hand how hard military deployments were on their children. According to the website, "With both of our husbands being Marines and having been deployed twice in less than two years, the absence of Daddy was beginning to take its toll on our own children as well as those of dear friends. We wanted to find some way to make the separation easier for our sons and daughters while keeping their fathers close to their hearts and in their prayers."
Kenley’s mom says she’s beyond relieved because her daughter was having trouble sleeping without “daddy doll” since it went missing. However, she has been completely inspired by the kindness of strangers, in working together to find Kenley’s doll.
“Regardless if it happened or not, we were just thankful and blessed to see how everyone came together,” Kenley’s mom said. “Social media can be used for such terrible things, and everybody used it for good.”
What a concept!!