Our 7th Annual Dolls for Daughters and Kenzi’s Kidz Bowl a Thon sponsored by Sanitas Skincare was held Saturday, March 14th at Elitch Lanes. Elitch Lanes has been hosting our event for the past 7 years and we could not ask for a better venue.

This event sold out for the 5th straight year with more than 139 bowlers. We raised $8,639 and collected more than 640 new toys. Money raised from this event will fund our Dolls for Daughters and Kenzi’s Kidz programs and toys will be given away at our annual toy shop in December.

Sponsors
sanitas

Sanitas Skincare

miller

Miller and Associates, CPA

bachus cares

Bachus and Schanker Cares Foundation

marco

Marco’s Pizza Colfax

Glacier Ice Cream

Glacier Home Made Ice Cream and Gelato

Solar City

Solar City

Annie Sells Colorado Homes

Platt River Mortgage

Platte River Mortgage

Eoncity

Oliva Family

Photography :

kb

KB Digital Designs

Special thanks to the following companies that have donated prizes..
JP Lizzy
Comedy works
The Cherry Cricket
Colorado Railroad Museum

 

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Lindsay Dolce

“Margaret Mead once said “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For indeed, that’s all who ever have.” According to Lindsay Dolce, in her time working in the nonprofit sector, this lesson has repeated itself again and again.

Lindsay is with Serve Colorado, which is the Governor’s Commission on Community Service. This group strives to extend services and resources across Colorado by partnering with organizations it thinks fit its goal of serving our Colorado community. Dolls for Daughters is mostly certainly one of these, and as Lindsay says, “The heart and soul of Dolls for Daughters is Jessica and it is so clear that she genuinely cares about the people with whom she works.”

Lindsay states that Dolls for Daughters values that every child, regardless of their financial situation, is important. The belief that each one of these children deserves to feel loved and valued, especially at the holidays, is one that Lindsay absolutely agrees with and is her motivation for aligning herself with the Dolls for Daughters mission.

Though she had known of Jessica and Dolls for Daughters beforehand, it wasn’t until she volunteered and saw the organization in action that she truly understood the depth of … that Dolls for Daughters provides to the community. While volunteering at the annual Toy Shop, Lindsay was able to experience just how moved and grateful the families were when they were able to give their child a toy for Christmas. For nearly 6 hours families filed through line, each with their own story and thank you, for the opportunity to give their child a Christmas gift.  For Lindsay, this experience made her realize that “truly, I have never been so humbled to be a part of something that meant so much too so many in such a short window of time.”

Her experience with the Toy Shop cemented her bond with Dolls for Daughters as well. She will support this organization for years to come because “the thought behind every aspect of what Dolls for Daughters does in the community clearly proves an interest in making a sustainable change in the lives of children and families.”

With so many organizations doing great things in our community, it is so uplifting to see that many of Colorado’s less fortunate are gaining access to resources that they did not have before. By simply supporting these organizations and donating our time, we can grow those few caring people who are willing to change the world, into masses. Strong communities with organizations like Dolls for Daughters enrich all us all, rich or poor. “We all gain strength and support from our community,” says Lindsay, “but if we don’t give back to that community, at some point the community no longer exists.”  Her advice to readers, “Be civically engaged some way, no matter how small, and find opportunities to witness the generous spirit of others regularly.”

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Volunteers are a critical part of our organization. Volunteers help us with a variety of events, activities and behind the scenes. Some of our volunteers help once a year and some volunteers help all year long, any time we need them.

Click Here to find out how you can get involved.

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It is not hard to get hooked onto Dolls for Daughters immediately.  Jessica and Kyle’s story, as well as their success, inspire many to join the foundation each month.  Once people see the effects of the organization, they too want to take part in the joy.

This is exactly what happened to Michelle and Nick Bokone seven years ago.  In 2008, the couple heard about Dolls for Daughters from another couple in their university alumni association.  That couple was Jessica and Kyle Bachus.  They were moved by the Bachus’ story and everything Dolls for Daughters represents.  They had always been exposed to large national organizations, but once they saw a Denver-based community, they jumped at the chance to see the results of their service firsthand.  They joined Dolls for Daughters, and participated in their first toy drive in 2010.  Since then, they have mainly been involved with the annual toy drive in various capacities during the year, including the involvement of their university’s alumni association and Michelle’s work.

As any Dolls for Daughter volunteer or member has experienced, the annual toy drive is a life-changing experience.  Toys are given away to struggling families with children who so desperately wanted just one toy.  Michelle and Nick were so touched by the sparkle they alighted in so many little eyes.  They knew that this was something they had to participate in every year, as much as they could.  Nick tells a touching story about one shy little boy at the toy drive one year, who already held one toy in his tiny hands.  However, he was eying another toy at their table.  It was clear that he wanted to switch, but he didn’t think it was even possible to actually get what he wanted.  Michelle gently asked him if he wanted the other toy, and he look up at her with wide, unbelieving eyes.  When she handed him the toy, his face lit up.  Every year, such reactions make any efforts going towards the toy drive incredibly worth it.

Michelle and Nick not only provide their own services, but they have also been successful in bringing in other volunteers to Dolls for Daughters.  When asked about his thoughts on volunteering, Nick says,

“To us, choosing an organization to support was about how much impact we are able to make. With DfD, we see results of our efforts immediately. Everyone wants to make a difference, and we’d encourage others to choose to make a difference where you can actually see an impact. The personal reward and satisfaction of making a difference with the wonderful families that benefit from DfD is truly something we’d encourage everyone to experience. “

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On a sunny Thursday in January, dozens of people gathered in the small, yet exquisite ballroom at the Wellshire Event Center in Denver.  The general census consisted of people all at different stages of life, coming together to enrich a room of comfortable elegance with love and laughter.  Everyone at the Dolls for Daughters Luncheon on January 22 portrayed various backgrounds, but all had one trait in common: a big heart.

Kyle Bachus, husband to founder Jessica Bachus, kicked off the event with an introduction to the organization.  Those new to Dolls for Daughters heard the Bachus’ personal testimony of losing their daughter, Kenzi, a stillbrith; a traumatic event that rocked their lives.  However, their story does not end there.  Jessica Bachus went on to create Dolls for Daughters, along with programs Kenzi’s Kidz and Toys for Boys.  Since 2007, they have managed to give away more than 87,000 toys to children just desperate for a smile.  They hold annual toy shops for families in need, as well as help certain families as much as they possibly can.  The organization has transformed lives.

As lunch was served, members stood up and mingled around the tables.  Business cards were handed out left and right as people everywhere showed their interests in helping the community.  Some already ran organizations, some were looking to join.  Table conversations were bright and full of laughter, mainly centering on the beauty of Dolls for Daughters.  Laura Bean, who does stylish online marketing for the organization, said simply, “Dolls for Daughters has inspired me to do more and get involved.  I do whatever I can to give back.”  Another luncheon member, Lisa Smith, stated, “Dolls for Daughters is consistently impressive.  The way that it’s grown, Jessica’s commitment…the momentum.  It makes everyone more mindful of their community and their dreams.” 

After lunch, two recipients of Kenzi’s Kidz made speeches on the impact Jessica Bachus has had in their lives.  As Jessica stood at the podium with them, all three women were reduced to tears, and tight hugs were exchanged.  Marcellina Rosales, Kenzi’s Kidz recipient from 2010, highlighted Jessica’s dedication by saying, “everything that we had asked for, Jessica delivered.  She provided us with beautiful memories.  And Jessica has not forgotten about us.”  She went on to explain that time to time, Jessica calls in on their family to see how they are doing.
 

As Jessica approached the microphone to speak, it was difficult not to be in awe of this loving, strong woman who has overcome her biggest challenge by focusing her heart on others.  Jessica spoke on the organization, and how much it has meant to her family.  Her words strung along a delicate balance of graceful and determined.  Although at times it seemed difficult to talk about Kenzi, every word was loud, clear, and poignant.  To close, Jessica gave her audience a bright smile and said, “We are so blessed that Kenzi inspired us to do this, and that from the worst day of my life, something beautiful has happened.” 

Kenzi Bachus would have turned eight years old on January 23, the day after the luncheon.  Her radiant legacy lives on every day through Dolls for Daughters, touching myriad hearts and changing lives.

Photos by KB Digital Designs

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Melisa Davidson met Jessica Bachus firsthand as their children played together at a mall play area.  Once Jessica shared her story, Melisa put herself in Jessica’s shoes and felt absolutely devastated.  She felt pulled towards Dolls for Daughters as an organization and really wanted to help.  Three years later, Melisa is an avid volunteer for Dolls for Daughters!  Not only does she provide her own services, but she also enlisted her entire family as volunteers.  This year, the Davidson family adopted a family from Kenzi’s Kids, and cannot wait to help them grow.

1. How did you first learn about Dolls for Daughters?

My daughter went to school with Kamden.  I clearly remember meeting Jessica at the mall play area.  After she shared the story of her loss, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  Having a young daughter at the time, I tried to put myself in her position and it would just bring tears to my eyes.

2. Some people are drawn to Dolls for Daughers because of their own personal experience, or the experience of someone close to them, similar to Jessica’s.  Why did you decide to volunteer for Dolls for Daughters?

While I haven’t experienced anything like Jessica, having children of my own really makes me think about what it would be like without them.  It’s unthinkable.

3. What has touched you most about the work Dolls for Daughters is doing?

The smiles on the faces of the families are unforgettable.  They are so touched by such a simple thing.

4. How long have you been a volunteer with Dolls for Daughters?  What is/are the biggest reasons for staying involved?

I have been involved with Dolls for Daughters for three years. It keeps me “grounded.”  Our family is so used to the idea of going to the store and just buying whatever we need…sometimes we don’t even need those things!  It’s easy to go about my daily routine and not see or interact with someone who doesn’t have a home to go home to, let alone everything we take for granted.  Keeping in touch with Jessica, volunteering, and even getting updates on social media about DfD helps remind me we are not all living “this” life!

5. What is your most memorable experience volunteering with Dolls for Daughters? 

Volunteering at the toy shop before the holidays was something I will never forget and hope to always be a part of with my family.  This year my Au Pair from South Africa and I were there together and we both walked away with images of smiles that can touch you for a lifetime.  Those families waiting in line overnight to get things for their children that my own children can have whenever they want.  It really took my heart and brought it to their life for a day. 

6. Have you shared your volunteer experience with your friends and family?  What was their reaction?

As soon as I got home from the toy giveaway, I told my husband about my experience.  Now he would love to get involved as well!  I also want my kids to get involved and see how even little things can change lives for others.

7. Have any of your friends or family become Dolls for Daughters volunteers because of it?

Yes, my husband Todd and I, along with Colorado Joint Replacement, have adopted a family from Kenzi’s Kids this year.  We were looking to help a family with children that we can relate to and meet at some point.  We are all very excited to meet our family and assist them in any way we can.  I feel the partners at Colorado Joint Replacement wanted to get involved because they all have families and can relate as well.

8. With so many organizations in need of volunteers for so many different purposes, what suggestions or advice do you have for people who consider volunteering?  In particular, how should they choose the organization and how should they decide in what areas of the organization and how much they will help?

Volunteering really is life-changing.  I urge everyone to do something, not only to help others but also themselves!  Deciding what organization to donate time and money to is difficult but Jessica’s devotion and determination really makes it easy to understand why Dolls for Daughters is such an amazing organization! 

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