Receiving a much-desired baby doll or action figure during the holidays is a childhood right of passage. Many children in Denver don’t get that precious experience, however, due to family hardship or financial struggle. Reeling from the stillborn birth of her own daughter, Denver resident Jessica Bachus channeled her emotions into bringing joy to these underprivileged children in her community by creating Dolls for Daughters.

The nonprofit organization, founded in 2007, collects toys for both boys and girls, and distributes them at shelters throughout the Front Range, like SafeHouse Denver, The Gathering Place, Samaritan House, and Denver Children’s Home. An annual distribution event, Dolls for Daughters and Toys for Boys Toy Shop, is also held each December. Last year alone, the organization provided 902 Colorado families and their children with nearly 24,000 toys, stocking stuffers, books, and toothbrushes during the holiday season.

“The main goal is to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children in Colorado and bring joy to them during the holiday season,” says Bachus. While many of the same families benefit from Dolls for Daughters, about half the toy recipients are new faces each year. Toys are distributed on a first come, first serve basis. This year’s goal: to hand out more than 3,200 toys during the single-day event.

Get Involved: Even with the holidays months away, it’s not too early to start preparing for the season of giving. Join the Party for a Purpose from 6 to 9 p.m. on September 14 at RedLine art gallery to raise funds for Denver’s underprivileged kids. Only 150 tickets are available at $75 per person and include hors d’oeuvres, drinks and music by DJ Aces. Can’t make it to the party? Make a monetary donation or donate a new toy to one of nearly 30 drop-off locations throughout the city starting October 1.

—Image courtesy of Picture the Day