Wendy Barry began volunteering in 2011. As a result of getting involved with her daughters, she brought two other families into the DfD fold to help out with the annual toy shop this past year. As Wendy so beautifully puts it, “…it’s an event that will change the way they [family and friends] see their own Christmas. It brings people closer to the true meaning of the holiday.”
1. How did you learn about Dolls for Daughters® and Kenzi’s Kidz?
I learned about the organization initially through Victor Dawson who serves on the Dolls for Daughters® board. I then met Jessica personally through a local business group.
2. Why did you decide to volunteer with Dolls for Daughters®?
I heard Jessica tell her story and it touched my heart. I was also looking for a way to teach my own children about giving instead of receiving during the holidays.
3. How long have you been a volunteer with Dolls for Daughters®?
I began volunteering at the toy shop in 2011.
4. What is your most memorable experience volunteering with Dolls for Daughters® and which event was it at?
My most memorable experience was when I took my 10-year-old twins to help at the toy shop. When we walked up to see a line around the building, our eyes were opened to a world very different than our own. Families had begun to line up from the night before. As children and their parents picked their toys, we helped to wrap their gifts. My kids were confused about why a child would want their gift wrapped since they had just picked it out themselves. It moved me to explain that each gift we wrapped might be the only present they would receive for Christmas. By wrapping their gift for them, we helped to make it even more special.
5. Have you participated in any fundraising event that Dolls for Daughters® had held?
My husband and I attended the fundraising event at the art gallery this past year.
6. Have you shared your volunteer experience with your friends and family? If so, what was their reaction?
I have shared our experiences with many of our friends. I’ve explained how it is an event that will change the way they see their own Christmas. It brings people closer to the true meaning of the holiday.
7. If you did share your experience, have any of your friends or family become Dolls for Daughters® volunteers because of it?
At the 2012 toy shop, I brought two friends and they brought their daughters along to help. The kids enjoyed handing out the toys and had fun helping the parents and children choose their toys.
8. With so many organizations in need of volunteers, what suggestions or advice do you have for people who consider volunteering, especially when it comes to choosing where to offer their help?
The toy shop is a wonderful event because not only do you get to see firsthand where your money is going…you also get to experience joy along with those who are benefiting from the event. Since children are allowed to help, it is a way to work together as a family to make a difference in the lives of those who live in our community.