at the 7th Annual Dolls for Daughters and Toys for Boys Toy Shop
Denver non-profit organization Dolls For Daughters gave 66,786 toys, books, winter jackets and other items to 4,609 Colorado children in need at its 7th Annual Dolls For Daughters and Toys For Boys Toy Shop on December 3.
Dolls For Daughters was founded by Jessica Bachus in 2007 in honor of her daughter Kenzi who was stillborn. It is now one of the state’s largest providers for underprivileged children during the holidays.
This was the first year the Toy Shop expanded from Denver into Ft. Collins and Longmont, where more than 1,000 additional children were served between the two locations.“I feel so incredibly thankful toeveryone who made this year’s Toy Shops such overwhelming successes,” said Bachus, who also serves as executive director. “The generosity of more than 400 volunteers and dozens of sponsors has made a difference to the children and their families. I am humbled that my daughter’s memory lives on in so many.”
Bachus originally decided to donate dolls in 2007 to honor Kenzi’s memory. That year, she collected and gave away150 dolls with donations increasing steadily every year. “Last year, we served 5,703 children throughout Colorado. This year we will serve more than 7,700. “There are an estimated 200,000 children in Colorado that live in poverty, so we appreciate every donation and every volunteer hour to serve as many children and families as we can.”
For the past four years Toy Shop participants also received a specially-commissioned book with the imagined story of Kenzi’s life — complete with how she would be giving back to the community she lives in. “We were also able to give away new teddy bears with Kenzi’s name on them,” said Bachus. “It is a loving reminder that because of Kenzi we have helped thousands of children through the past seven years.”
Sponsors for this year’s toy shop included the National Western Complex, Bachus and Schanker Cares Foundation, KB Digital Designs, Delta Dental, SquirrelBox Storage, Safelite Autoglass, Pacific Office Automation, Telemundo, McDonald’s, Big Daddy’s Pizza, Design by Reese, 1 Up Aerial Drone Services, Golden Moving and One Stop Operations.
Representatives from Walgreens provided 168 free flu-shots, Operation Warm distributed new winter jackets, Toys for Gods Kids gave hand-made wooden toys and Sock It To ‘Em gave new socks. Mile High Youth Corps, McDonald’s, Clothes to Kids Denver, Bright By Three, the Piton Foundation and Mi Casa Resource Center also provided merchandise and support. For more information or to donate, visit www.dollsfordaughters.com.
About the author: Sarah Thornton is a Castle Rock-based public relations professional and a board member for Dolls for Daughters.