On June 16, 2016 the interns at Girl AGain boutique opened three large boxes. And then this note accompanied them:
Hello from Chicago. My name is April.
When I was a young girl I dreamed of having an American Girl doll, but not just any doll, I dreamed of Felicity. My parents took me to see the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and on the Freedom Trail in Boston. I grew up in Connecticut and loved to learn about history, especially Colonial times. I read all of the Felicity books from the library twice! But things were rough for my family back then and my mom told me we couldn’t afford her.
Somehow, some way my parents made it happen, and Felicity Merriman was there in a box under our Christmas tree. I’ll never forget how I felt to see her there, to look at her beautiful clothes and accessories. It was like history had come to life. I had many wondrous adventures with her. I took her with me to see Plymouth Plantation and we wore matching dresses. My friends and I played with all of our dolls together pretending they were classmates in school and we were the teachers.
Later things got better for my family and I was blessed to receive two other dolls, an American Girl of Today who looked just like me with blond hair and blue eyes (I named her Emily but it’s OK if she gets a new name) and Josefina whom I loved because I was just starting to learn Spanish in school and it excited me to hear about her life in New Mexico and the words for things like robozo (the shawl she wears). I also received furniture and many, many outfits and accessories.
I am all grown up now, and although it is hard to let them go, I would like to see my dolls and all of their things go to good homes. I would like for them to be given to children who will love them, children whose families may be going through some rough times like my family all those years ago.
I would also like to help young women build career skills. I have had great success in my own career but it never would have happened if it wasn’t for all the loving supportive help I had along the way.
My American Girl Dolls helped engender in me a love of history, which made me want to work hard in school (I got an A in AP history in high school and recently received my master’s degree!) and chase after my dreams. If my old friends Emily, Josefina and Felicity can help make that happen, I can let them go.
So dear keepers of the Girl AGain Boutique, I am trusting you to find good homes and loving children for my friends. I know you can do it and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping to bring these young people joy.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Please consider following April’s example and give the gift that keeps on giving. Your loved American Girl dolls provide the work at Girl AGain for our young women with autism to develop job skills, and they then go home with a young girl who might have never been able to have an American Girl doll.
Here’s how to donate or lead a collection drive. Donate dolls.