It began with a father’s promise to his daughter.
For the past eight years, Brendan Hoffman has built delicate dollhouses by hand for terminally ill children in Northeast Florida.
The loss of a child is a pain Hoffman knows firsthand. His daughter, Dawn, passed away from melanoma in 2009 at the age of 28.
“I made 36 promises to her before she passed and kept every one of them and one of them was to do this,” Hoffman said.
He devotes half of the year to building at least six dollhouses inside his garage in Nocatee.
From Victorian-style to a log cabin, each dollhouse has its own character. Hoffman even decorates them with wreaths and Christmas lights.
The project starts in June, and the dollhouses are then donated every December to children in Community Hospice & Palliative Care’s Community PedsCare program.
“When these get dropped off, that’s my Christmas, that’s my satisfaction, my happiness. Knowing that these are going to put smiles on kids’ faces,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman said he’ll keep his promise to his daughter until his eyes and hands won’t allow him to do it.