Melisa Davidson met Jessica Bachus firsthand as their children played together at a mall play area. Once Jessica shared her story, Melisa put herself in Jessica’s shoes and felt absolutely devastated. She felt pulled towards Dolls for Daughters® as an organization and really wanted to help. Three years later, Melisa is an avid volunteer for Dolls for Daughters®! Not only does she provide her own services, but she also enlisted her entire family as volunteers. This year, the Davidson family adopted a family from Kenzi’s Kids, and cannot wait to help them grow.
1. How did you first learn about Dolls for Daughters®?
My daughter went to school with Kamden. I clearly remember meeting Jessica at the mall play area. After she shared the story of her loss, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Having a young daughter at the time, I tried to put myself in her position and it would just bring tears to my eyes.
2. Some people are drawn to Dolls for Daughers because of their own personal experience, or the experience of someone close to them, similar to Jessica’s. Why did you decide to volunteer for Dolls for Daughters®?
While I haven’t experienced anything like Jessica, having children of my own really makes me think about what it would be like without them. It’s unthinkable.
3. What has touched you most about the work Dolls for Daughters® is doing?
The smiles on the faces of the families are unforgettable. They are so touched by such a simple thing.
4. How long have you been a volunteer with Dolls for Daughters®? What is/are the biggest reasons for staying involved?
I have been involved with Dolls for Daughters® for three years. It keeps me “grounded.” Our family is so used to the idea of going to the store and just buying whatever we need…sometimes we don’t even need those things! It’s easy to go about my daily routine and not see or interact with someone who doesn’t have a home to go home to, let alone everything we take for granted. Keeping in touch with Jessica, volunteering, and even getting updates on social media about DfD helps remind me we are not all living “this” life!
5. What is your most memorable experience volunteering with Dolls for Daughters®?
Volunteering at the toy shop before the holidays was something I will never forget and hope to always be a part of with my family. This year my Au Pair from South Africa and I were there together and we both walked away with images of smiles that can touch you for a lifetime. Those families waiting in line overnight to get things for their children that my own children can have whenever they want. It really took my heart and brought it to their life for a day.
6. Have you shared your volunteer experience with your friends and family? What was their reaction?
As soon as I got home from the toy giveaway, I told my husband about my experience. Now he would love to get involved as well! I also want my kids to get involved and see how even little things can change lives for others.
7. Have any of your friends or family become Dolls for Daughters® volunteers because of it?
Yes, my husband Todd and I, along with Colorado Joint Replacement, have adopted a family from Kenzi’s Kids this year. We were looking to help a family with children that we can relate to and meet at some point. We are all very excited to meet our family and assist them in any way we can. I feel the partners at Colorado Joint Replacement wanted to get involved because they all have families and can relate as well.
8. With so many organizations in need of volunteers for so many different purposes, what suggestions or advice do you have for people who consider volunteering? In particular, how should they choose the organization and how should they decide in what areas of the organization and how much they will help?
Volunteering really is life-changing. I urge everyone to do something, not only to help others but also themselves! Deciding what organization to donate time and money to is difficult but Jessica’s devotion and determination really makes it easy to understand why Dolls for Daughters® is such an amazing organization!