Dolls for Daughters Brings Hope to Colorado Children

If one thing is true about Operation Warm and Dolls for Daughters, it’s that kids matter.

For children in Denver, where the child poverty rate is at 25 percent, knowing that someone cares about you makes all the difference.

At Operation Warm we believe that a brand new winter coat can change a child’s life. Our goal is to give every child self-esteem, the chance to play outside in cold weather, and the ability to attend school even on the harshest of days.

In 2016 Operation Warm traveled to Denver and distributed 1200 brand new winter coats during a Dolls for Daughters toy-giving event.

“This year we are looking to increase that number of coats given out to children,” said Richard Sanford Jr., Accounting and Partner Events Coordinator at Operation Warm.  “We’re shooting for around 4,500.”

Dolls for Daughters understands the need for education. Besides collecting toys to give children in poverty around the holidays, Dolls for Daughters created Kenzi’s Kids.

Kenzi’s Kids was launched in 2010, three years after Dolls for Daughters. The program helps to “relieve the financial burdens of low-income families who are taking the necessary steps to create a stable environment for their children.”

Like Operation Warm, Kenzi’s Kids strives to ensure that every child receives an equal education. By collecting school supplies, clothing, and other items, Kenzi’s Kids gives these children the fundamental items they need to succeed in school. Recently, Kenzi’s Kids started a new program called Packz4Kidz. Donations for this program go towards filling a brand new backpack with school supplies to low income children. A brand new coat, along with new school supplies can give a child confidence when at school.

“She (Jessica Bachus) gives out around 5,000 toys to the children at these events,” said Richard Jr. “She does holiday toy drives, she does backpacks…this year she wants to do around 7,000 toys.”

Statistically, Colorado has seen an increase in the amount of students who graduate college. However, in the 2014-15 school year, 568 more students dropped out. Studies have shown that children who live in high-poverty communities have less available resources, including supplies, outdoor activities and school.

For most of these children, school is the only place they can go to get the nutritional meals they need. One in five children in Colorado receive food stamps, around 36 percent in Denver. Without proper attire or supplies, getting to school is difficult and sometimes not possible.

Dolls for Daughters is more than toys, just like Operation Warm is more than coats. New toys and coats bring children happiness, a chance to play, and the self-confidence they need to succeed.

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