American Girl Dolls Refurbished for New Homes: ‘I Hope It Brings Them a Lot of Joy’

The American Girl Doll Project in Massachusetts refurbishes dolls no longer used to donate them to girls in foster care

A Massachusetts group is helping the less fortunate by refurbishing old American Girl dolls and finding them new homes.

"There was a need for people in the community to pass their dolls on and they didn't know how," said Jillian Frank, founder of the American Girl Doll Project.

The dolls have been collected from children who have outgrown them but who wanted to donate them in meaningful ways.

The dolls will be given to young girls entering foster care for the first time with the goal of making their transition a little easier.

"Some of the girls have to move from home to home and this is something that they can take with them," Frank said, who started the unique project out of her home in Brookline.

The hope is that the dolls bring comfort to children as they enter new and unfamiliar homes.

"I hope it brings them a lot of joy because I feel bad for them because they have hard times and I want them to just forget about that and think about all the good that's going to come rather than the bad,” said 11-year-old Zoe Kalish, who donated six of her dolls.

American Girl dolls were chosen because of their popularity, cultural diversity and realistic body image. Also because they often come with their own stories of overcoming adversity.

"I hope that the girls feel special and that they have a moment where they realize they've been thought of," Frank said.

About 50 dolls have already been donated and refurbished so they're just like new. On Monday, dolls will be delivered to the Department of Children and Families and case workers will then distribute them.

For more information on how to donate, please contact drjillianfrank@gmail.com.

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