Founder and Executive Director
I’m Jessica Bachus and I created Kenzi’s Causes formally known as Dolls for Daughters® in December 2007 in memory of my daughter.
In January of 2007, my life was sunny, bright and overflowing with love. A proud mother, I was the expectant mother of my second child, a baby girl, whom I and my husband had named Kenzi. Kenzi was a few short months from her debut in the world. Our close-knit, beautiful family was elated.
Then tragedy struck. I lost Kenzi on January 23rd.
What remained of 2007 was understandably difficult for me and my family. Losing a child meant literally losing a piece of ourselves, and so many dreams and plans that would go unfulfilled. As the holidays came back around again, I was reminded of the daughter I lost and the gifts that I would never get to give her. Most of all, I wished I could have given Kenzi her first Christmas doll.
No one would have blamed me if my heartbreak bent me to a breaking point. No one could have expected incredible good to grow out of our family’s great loss. Remarkably, I took my immense sadness and channeled it into something powerfully good. To honor my daughter Kenzi, I started Dolls for Daughters®, a nonprofit organization that provides dolls as holiday gifts for girls in need. If I could never give Kenzi the dolls she wanted, then I would give those dolls to all the little girls in Colorado whose circumstances couldn’t provide them.
That first year, 2007, Dolls for Daughters® collected 300 new dolls that were distributed to little girls in need. I didn’t stop there, though, because Kenzi’s memory deserved boundless gratitude, loving and giving. I expanded Dolls for Daughters® to collect toys for all kids in need in Colorado, and in 2010, with the help of friends, family, and volunteers, Dolls for Daughters® and Toys for Boys® collected 83,428 toys and more for boys and girls.
That wasn’t enough good to contain this amazing, giving love. Also in 2010 I started “Kenzi’s Kidz” to help relieve the financial burdens for low-income families taking steps to create a stable environment for their children. For a year, Kenzi’s Kidz provides children from qualifying families with essential items that make scholastic success possible. It includes school supplies, clothing, extracurricular activities, and birthday and holiday gifts.
In 2016 Packz4Kidz was launched to provide backpacks full of school supplies, water bottles, lunch boxes and more to the children in need each August. Since then, 35,693 items have been given to children in Colorado.
My personal tragedy wasn’t the sole reason for my incredible efforts in giving back. I learned a lot about doing well from my mother, and had applied those lessons throughout in my life as an English teacher, cheerleading coach, and mother.
In June 2018, Dolls for Daughters® and Kenzi’s Kidz became known as Kenzi’s Causes. I made this change as I looked at our past 9 years of growth and my vision for the future. Look for more programs and change to come to Colorado communities through our innovative programming.
“What makes Jessica special isn’t that she turned an awful experience into something good. It’s that she has done something that no human is supposed to be able to do. She gave her daughter Kenzi immortality with a legacy that few people could live up to, but to which every person would aspire.” The Beanstalk Foundation