Last Tuesday evening, I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at a regional meeting for Wells Fargo managers from Minnesota, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. My participation was two-fold, to share about Dolls for Daughters and to help the managers work on teamwork skills while supporting the kids through a Bike Build.
I first shared with them about my journey in creating Dolls for Daughters and how much my life has changed since I lost Kenzi. I told them about how our toy shop impacted 4,442 lives in 2015 and how those small items change the lives of children in poverty. I find when I open up and share about my journey and the positive change we make in lives, it opens the doors for others to share about their losses that they may still be healing from. At the dinner and happy hour, one woman shared with me how she had lost her grandson after he was born at 26 weeks. He lived for a couple weeks, but didn’t make it through. The experience was devastating for her and her son and daughter-in-law. We talked about how even though her son had another baby, he doesn’t replace the one they lost. Conversations like this provide so much healing and much needed comfort from others who have experienced similar traumatic events. I love speaking at events like this and helping others move through their journeys of healing.
After dinner and happy hour, the managers began the Bike Build! They were broken up into teams and each team had to complete challenges together in order to earn parts to build their bikes! The challenges included stacking mini cakes on their faces (some four high!), trying to find a way to get an Oreo from their foreheads to their mouths with no hands, and assembling a puzzle without talking! Although very fun and entertaining, these activities helped the managers with team building and team work, and in the end, they built eight bikes to be donated to our program! We were also given two additional bikes and $800 in donations. It brings me such joy interacting with people who believe in making a difference!
It’s one thing for me to speak at these events and raise awareness about Dolls for Daughters, but it’s another thing knowing that I left a lasting impression on the audience. One of the managers wrote me afterwards, “Thank you so much for being such an awesome part of our event this week. Thank you for giving your time and evening to spend with us. I truly cannot say enough about what your involvement meant. I’ve heard feedback from a number of our managers who participated and they have ALL mentioned how incredible it was to have you speak and hear your passion & focus. Thank you for helping make this evening such a blessing to so many. We really appreciated you staying around and spending time with our team.” This type of feedback just solidifies my passion and desire to continue helping the children of Colorado through Dolls for Daughters and Kenzi’s Kidz and to help others through their own journeys of healing!
I walked away that evening with a smile on my face and joy in my heart knowing 10 children would have a new bike because of this group and that three other individuals were inspired enough to donate $800 to our programs.