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. “