Donelson woman collecting dolls for tornado victims

Nashville Tornado

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Six months after deadly tornadoes hit Middle Tennessee, a Donelson woman is finding a special way to give back to families.

It’s difficult for Elaine Conklin to describe how much she loved her home on Stafford Drive. Eventually, it became too expensive to take care of. The house went on the market in January.

She and her husband have been living in a rental home less than two miles away ever since, waiting for a buyer.

Then the morning of March 3rd changed everything.

“It was really strange because we didn’t even have a pine cone drop out of these trees here and over there it was just devastation and destruction and it was…I’m at a loss for words,” recalled Conklin.

Families in her former neighborhood saw nothing but piles of rubble after the EF-3 tornado.

“I got to thinking these kids lost, I’m going to get emotional, they lost everything. Not a toy, not a garment, nothing.”

Six months later, Conklin is on a mission to fill the hole in little girl’s hearts, asking for the community’s help on Facebook to collect American Girl dolls.

“I have gotten messages from parents even lately the last couple of days. saying our house was damaged, it was destroyed. I feel so sad and when I look at my six-year old, you know, all of her stuff is gone,” said Conklin.

Conklin plays the role of designer, making their clothes herself.

“I’ve paid it forward all my life and this is kind of not a place to stop. We’ve had so much help so for me to not do something was just not it’s not in the cards.”

Conklin hopes to finish her mission by Christmas.

You can help Conklin at her Facebook post below or by email at

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