Report from Valiant News:
Nancy Pulte Rickard, self-described chairwoman of Pulte Family Charitable Foundation and trustee of Knights Hospitaller, reportedly profited from the sale of diverse Jesus dolls in the 1990s.
According to a report in December 1992 by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Nancy Pulte Rickard was marketing Jesus dolls made of machine-washable polyester for $29.95 plus $4 shipping. She also offered discounted “slightly irregular Jesus” dolls for $20. Rickard claimed to have sold “hundreds” of these dolls, with customers in all 50 states.
Furthermore, Rickard mentioned plans to introduce a “black Jesus” doll, responding to complaints about the previous blue-eyed European depiction. The article also hinted at the possibility of an Asian Jesus doll if there was enough demand.
Shortly after, on January 1, 1993, the Chicago Tribune published an article with its own headline. Rickard defended her multi-racial dolls by stating that they were not sacrilegious, as she believed Jesus is present in everyday struggles. She emphasized that the dolls could bring comfort and help children understand Jesus better, as it is challenging to hug mere air. The article also mentioned Rickard’s suggestion that these dolls could provide solace to various individuals, including the elderly, people in recovery, and those experiencing emotional distress.
Although the contact number for purchasing the dolls remained active, Valiant News discovered that it redirected to a purported medical alert company when they called to inquire about making a purchase.
While the offered stories from both sources lacked visual representation of the Jesus dolls, the Tribune described Rickard’s “prototype” as a white-haired, white-bearded man wearing a long, rainbow-colored robe with animals depicted on it. Various depictions of Jesus have emerged from different Christian, Muslim, and secular perspectives, but most scholars agree that Jesus was likely a Judean from Galilee who passed away between the ages of 33-38.
Both articles mentioned that a proportion of Rickard’s earnings went towards supporting children in need, without specifying the exact percentage.
Presently, the philanthropist Rickard of Boca Raton is leading a “charity” that seemingly aims to defame her own Pulte family, particularly William J. Pulte, her father’s grandson. Ms. Rickard’s organization appears to tarnish her family’s image on various platforms such as the main website, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter (now X), and Threads.