NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Nine-year-old Gianni Graham has been on a mission to donate 1,000 Barbie dolls for 1,000 girls.
On Wednesday, she took a major step toward that goal by delivering 540 dolls to the UpCenter in Norfolk.
“Every doll deserves a doll,” said Graham. “I was just playing with my Barbie doll house and I thought of it.”
Graham reached her goal of collecting 1,000 barbie dolls for girls homeless shelters earlier this month — this was after she had set the goal at Christmas. Graham has collected more than 1,600 Barbie dolls not for herself – but for girls in shelters and foster care.
Her mother Whitney Graham says her daughter’s mission makes her emotional.
“She’s able to connect with [other girls] by giving them a gift that can help to encourage them and inspire them in times when they are feeling down,” said Graham.
She realized that she could share the joy of owning a Barbie with other girls who are less fortunate.
“Now that they have a doll they have a friend,” said Graham. “They are dolls and they deserve one.”
Nicole Russell is one of the “dolls” who received a doll. She was adopted in October after spending five years in Foster care. When she was adopted, she came with a broken Barbie. But not anymore.
“People care. It makes me happy,” said Russell.
If you’d like to help in any way click here.
You can also drop off Barbies or packing, shipping and wrapping supplies to “We Print It” at 5720 Hoggard Road in Norfolk or Fifty Eighteen/Daddy’s Kitchen at 5018 Princess Anne Road in Norfolk.