On May 15, 2010, Dolls for Daughters® founder Jessica Bachus was honored as an Outstanding Young Coloradoan at the Colorado Junior Chamber’s OYawards hosted by The Colorado JCI Senate and . Jessica was nominated by Tonya Bradshaw and the Cherry Creek Jaycees.
Jessica was given this honor for creating Dolls for Daughters® and her work over the past three years since creating Dolls for Daughters® in Kenzi’s memory. Jessica could not have been more pleased to accept this honor. Here is Jessica’s acceptance speech:
I want to begin with thanking Tonya and the Cherry Creek Jaycees for nominating me for this amazing honor. I would also like to thank the Colorado Jaycees for honoring me and my work with Dolls for Daughters®.
I need to thank a few people who are not here with me today. First my husband who has supported all of my hard work and dedication to Dolls for Daughters® and for helping me honor Kenzi. My children who have taught me there is life after loss. My daughter Bailey who made me smile each day after I lost Kenzi. My sons Kamden and Karson who were born in 2008 and 2009 after I lost Kenzi have shown me that I can be a mother after a loss.
I would also like to thank my Mom who is here with me tonight. My Mom has been my best friend for as long as I can remember. I cannot remember an event in my life that my Mom has not been a part of. She has always supported me and was there with me when I lost Kenzi. She helped me grieve, she took my anger and let it go, and she supported me in my deepest, darkest hour. She loved me when I couldn’t love myself because I lost Kenzi. She too has supported me every step of the way with Dolls for Daughters®.
Finally I need to thank my sweet angel Kenzi. Kenzi who taught me during my pregnancy what faith and strength were. She taught me that you can never judge someone else unless you have walked step for step, mile for mile in their shoes. When Kenzi was born sleeping January 23, 2007, I thought my life would end too. I looked at her beautiful face and saw how much she looked like her sister. I kissed the top of her tiny head, her tiny nose and tiny lips. I held her and I cried because I would never see her grow up and I would never hear her tell me “Mommy I love you”. I cried at what was lost that day and what I had to give back. The hardest moment was letting go of Kenzi knowing I would never hold her again, kiss her again, see her again. I wondered how I would go on after I lost her. I wondered how I would get up each day and know that I would never see her again. How would I be happy knowing that on that day a part of me died?
It took time after I lost Kenzi to find the new me. I found it and began my life as a mother of two daughters, one on earth and one in heaven. I will always have two daughters. As the holidays of 2007 approached and I was dreading the holidays without Kenzi, I thought long and hard about what I could do and it came to me. Donate dolls to girls in our community. I spoke to my husband who said yes; of course we would find a way. Then the name came to me, Dolls for Daughters®. We would give dolls to daughters in memory of Kenzi. This was one of the most rewarding holidays ever. I cried tears of pain and tears of joy during this time. I lost Kenzi but because of her other girls would have a new doll.
I wanted to give back again in 2008, so we did. More dolls and more kids. In 2009 I decided I wanted to make Dolls for Daughters® a nonprofit. In July of 2009 Dolls for Daughters® and Kenzi’s Kidz became a 501(c)(3). I cried the day the paperwork came. I had done this, I had done this for Kenzi and for me and for the children out there we would help. I would have given anything to have Kenzi back but I couldn’t have her but I could do this.
In 2009 Dolls for Daughters® donated over 1100 new dolls to the Colorado community. In 2010 we hope to donate more than 3000 new toys to boys and girls in our community ages birth to 18. We plan to continue to help support the charities we have helped in the past and to have our own toy shop on December 11th to give away all of the toys. This year we will also launch our Kenzi’s Kidz program which will help relieve the financial burden of one family in correlation with Warren Village for one calendar year.
I could not be more proud of what Kenzi has guided me to do. I am so blessed to be her mother and I miss her every day. I wish she were here with me to love, cherish and watch her grow. However she is not, so I do my best to honor her and be the mother and person she has helped me become.
Thank you for your time, your support and your recognition. I love you Kenzi!