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Tonya Bradshaw first learned about Dolls for Daughters in 2009 when she was told Jessica’s story by a mutual friend. Tonya was immediately touched by Jessica’s story about her daughter Kenzi and the way she inspired Jessica to help others by creating Dolls for Daughters. She began supporting Dolls for Daughters right away from picking up donations, volunteering at the auctions and Toy Shops, participating in the bowling events, and helping to set up and prepare for the annual Toy Shop events.

Tonya tells us, “I chose to support Dolls for Daughters because I believe in the good that the organization does. It is easy and fun to support the organization in a variety of ways.” She still recalls her most memorable experience in supporting Dolls for Daughters: she was volunteering at the Toy Shop a few years ago, and witnessed a teenage boy trying to pick the gift he wanted for himself while also helping his little brother. The teenage boy found a ball cap that he really wanted. However, a few minutes later he came back and asked Tonya if he could give the ball cap back to her. He wanted to exchange his gift in so that his little brother could have a second gift instead. “It was so sweet to see him sacrifice his gift to make his little brother happy,” says Tonya.

Tonya believes it is so important to give back, and that Dolls for Daughters does that and more, by supporting underprivileged children and their families. Tonya’s words of wisdom “It’s important to find the organization whose mission is one that is also important to you.” She also thinks that everyone has their own special way to help support an organization. If you are better at providing manpower than requesting donations, look for volunteer opportunities where you can provide the needed manpower. There is no best way to help: help the way that feels best to you.

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Dr. Jeffrey Raval and his wife Amy, met Jessica Bachus at a Stanley British Primary School event. From the beginning, Dr. Raval was inspired by how Jessica decided to honor her daughter’s memory by providing dolls to young girls during Christmas. Raval Facial Aesthetics and Rocky Mountain Laser Aesthetics has been making financial contributions to Dolls for Daughters and Toys for Boys ever since! Over the past four years that they have contributed to Dolls for Daughters, they say “the incredible impact that the Dolls for Daughters and Toys for Boys Program has on thousands of children each year continues to inspire us.”

Raval Facial Aesthetics and Rocky Mountain Laser Aesthetics is a leading practice in Colorado for medical cosmetic procedures. The practice allows patients to integrate surgical and non-surgical procedures with laser aesthetic procedures through personalized care and consultation. “Our practice is all about improving ourselves and our community,” says Amy.

As a business, Raval Facial Aesthetics and Rocky Mountain Laser Aesthetics truly values being an active part of its community. They feel that supporting Dolls for Daughters is an important way that they can play a positive role within the community. The whole team enjoys participating in unique ways to help improve their community; however medical director, Jeffrey Raval MD, MBA, FACS, truly goes above and beyond when it comes to nurturing and providing for his community. He is recognized for his contributions as the Honorary Patron of this year’s Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, for his efforts at the Denver Inner City Health Center, Streets of Hope, the Lions Project, and several other organizations. Dr. Raval and his team at Raval Facial Aesthetics and Rocky Mountain Laser Aesthetics, continue to extend their commitment to the local community and the underprivileged children that Dolls for Daughters serves. They are wholeheartedly committed to the idea of serving underprivileged children and their families by providing them with toys, food, school supplies, and clothing.

For Dr. Raval and his team, they feel that donating monetarily allows those who know the community best to put their generosity to the best possible use. However, they look forward to the upcoming Toy Shop, where they would love the opportunity to volunteer with their 6 and 4 year old son and daughter. Amy Raval’s words of wisdom,

“giving to Dolls for Daughters and Toys for Boys is a great way to make a lasting impact for years to come by targeting the needful youth of our community.”

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Stephanie KonopelskiAs a leading force behind her Mother-Daughter group, Stephanie Konopelski was seeking an organization that would help instill strong community bonds and values in her own daughters. While browsing through the Denver Post, Stephanie spotted an announcement for Dolls for Daughters, who was looking for volunteers for their upcoming Toy Shop.

Stephanie signed her group of 7 moms and 10 daughters up to help out, and that was the beginning of the incredible bond that was formed between these two groups. Since that day, the group volunteers at the Toy Shop every year. For the past 3 years, they look forward to their chance to see those happy faces, and the joy they feel as they are able to help these amazing families at the Holidays. Stephanie says that her favorite part of the day is “going through the toy line with a mom and helping her decide what to get for each of her children.”

Being able to help those who are less fortunate than she, while teaching her own daughters the great value in giving, is the gift that Stephanie gets from each Toy Shop. Watching her daughters as they help others and learn to truly understand what giving is all about is priceless.

There are so many out there who can use your help. Stephanie appeals to everyone to, “Find a list of organizations that need help and find what speaks to you.”

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BarryRogersBarry Rogers, with Pacific Office Automation (POA), was introduced to Dolls for Daughters through a business alliance group event hosted by one of their major clients. Jessica Bachus shared the Dolls for Daughters vision with POA that evening, and instantly a brainstormbegan brewing on how POA could help support Dolls for Daughters.

Pacific Office Automation is committed to providing both business and community support in Colorado. Their goal is to create win-win relationships with their customers as well as their community. In their quest to support Dolls for Daughters in any way they can, they donate both time and financial resources, so Dolls for Daughters can in turn fulfill the needs of children and families who need their help.

Pacific Office’s tag line is “Problem Solved”, and that’s what they set out to do; in every setting. Whether it is in business, in their community or in a social setting, Barry and the folks at POA strive to provide solutions. They provide customized technology solutions specialized to a business’ needs, which include IT network services, software solutions, and document printing solutions.

They chose to support Dolls for Daughters because it, “has an outward focus of giving back to the community and helping those in need of financial, emotional, and charitable support.” POA will be participating in the upcoming Dolls for Daughters 5th Annual Scramble Golf Tournament, which they are also co-sponsoring. They also look forward to this year’s Dolls for Daughters and Toys for Boys Toy Shop, where they will be volunteering alongside “one of our delivery drivers who has an uncanny resemblance to a man in a sled that frequents homes around the world on Christmas Eve. I believe he will be at the Toy Shop to greet children and families this year.”

Barry tells us that when he is choosing which organizations to support, he looks for like-minded organizations that are looking to have a positive impact in the community and do so in a selfless, outward-focused fashion. “This is what we see in Dolls for Daughters,” he states.

Barry’s words of wisdom,

“There are an unlimited number of organizations to support. Choose what calls to you.”

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Genevieve
Genevieve Valdez has a passion for helping children. This is evident in her close work for Kids In Need of Dentistry (KIND). KIND has given thousands of children across Colorado access to affordable dental care. Genevieve herself, has worked in the dental field for 20 years, and is currently a Registered Dental Hygienist, and member of both the American and Colorado Dental Hygiene Associations.

So, when Genevieve was asked to help hand out toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss at the Annual Dolls for Daughters Toy Shop, she was intrigued. When she arrived and began her volunteering, she claims that she was “amazed at the amount of people who were there and in need.” However, being there, and seeing all of the good and support that Dolls for Daughters was doing through their Toy Shop, she was overwhelmed with the warmth of giving and compassion.

Genevieve feels that Dolls for Daughters is a wonderful cause, and one that truly aligns with her own passion of providing children with the things that every child should have. Since that first Toy Shop, Genevieve has donated both her time and money to the work that Dolls for Daughters does, as often as she can. For the past 4 years, Genevieve has been right there, supporting and witnessing firsthand, the smiles, relief, and gratitude, that providing parents with gifts for their children brings. Through Dolls for Daughters and KIND, Genevieve has been able to see just how great a gift giving can be.

Truly a compassionate person, Genevieve says “Talk to everyone you come in contact with about the causes you believe in. Spread the word!”

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Several years ago, Erik Reynolds was invited to help out at Dolls for Daughters’ Annual Toy Shop where he was able to help parents pick out gifts to give to their children for Christmas. It was at this event that he truly realized the value and the impact that Dolls for Daughters has on the Colorado community.

For Erik, what is so significant about Dolls for Daughters is their concept and their cause. He loves that they are a non-political organization, just looking to serve their own community. There is no greater reward than the look on a mother’s face when the realization sets in that she will be able to give her child a Christmas present, or the surprise and joy on the children’s faces as their whole family is given a day at the zoo together.

It is that desire to help children in need that Erik claims matches so directly with his own values. As a father of five children of his own, he says “Kids in need are a sweet spot for me.” In fact, just this last December, 2014, Erik brought his whole family to the Dolls for Daughters Annual Toy Shop to help out. His kids served as “expert advisors” to those parents who needed a little assistance in picking out the perfect gifts. “My children will remember that experience throughout their lives,” says Erik, happily.

Essentially, events like this are special and memorable not only to the families that they help, but also to those people who volunteer, such as Erik’s children. That gift of building a foundation of compassion and goodwill within the next generation of adults, is just another amazing product that Dolls for Daughters is able to generate within its community. For Erik and his family, the desire to keep helping has been ignited. He hopes to continue “to add to those memorable experiences this year and each year in the future.”

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Abbie Bennett

RockRes Realty is so much more than your average real estate company. Annie Bennett and her team are dedicated to empowering their clients to achieve their real estate goals by providing them with accurate information, intelligent options, and a customized service to their clients based upon mutual loyalty and respect.

But there’s even more to this incredible agency. Through their desire to lead their community through integrity and compassion RockRes Realty has aligned themselves with Dolls for Daughters. According to Annie, “It is important to remember everyone: the ‘first’ and the ‘last’. We know that Dolls for Daughters aligns with these important things when we see the benefits it offers the community and others.”

Annie found out about Dolls for Daughters through a friend several years ago, and says that Jessica’s strength amazed her. Since then, Annie knew that she wanted to figure out how she could help, and so began to donate her time and volunteer for the organization. Amongst her experiences in working with Dolls for Daughters, her most memorable was the Dolls for Daughters Tea Party in Belmar in 2012. Annie was able to bring her 2 daughters that day, and the three of them had an amazing day they could remember forever.

In her three years supporting Dolls for Daughters, Annie has been to several of its fundraising events. This year she attended the bowling event and was on a team with her 2 daughters, who all had a blast! “It’s great to help raise money and have fun,” says Annie. In 2012, Annie volunteered at the Toy Shop and worked with the clean-up crew. Even as they began their clean-up, she says that the line was still long, as people waited very patiently knowing they were going to be getting something great for their kids. She was thrilled to watch the reactions that families had as they were able to receive gifts from Dolls for Daughters.

RockRes Realty believes that you must have passion for what you do in business and in life. They believe that giving back to the community and its people is extremely important; which is why they support organizations that bring happiness and compassion to communities throughout Colorado. Dolls for Daughters, is one of these because “they give back so much more than just things or stuff; they’re showing compassion and giving people joy. Those things are worth so much more than money! Those are the things that last a life time,” Annie says.

Annie’s tip on giving, “If an organization is instilling something more valuable than money: it’s important to give any amount; regardless of the actual amount. Even if it’s small; give what you can.”

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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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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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