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The Barbie Project for Foster Kids

$260 of $260 goal

Raised by 7 people in 19 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Natasha Polak  INDIANAPOLIS, IN
The Barbie Girls Project is something that began as a result of what happened when I was 8 years old.  At the time, I was visiting my family in India, and became acquainted with a couple of girls who became my friends.  One was special needs, the other under-privileged.  Both of their reactions to being gifted my Barbies forever changed my life so that years later when I had a daughter of my own who turned 8, I felt it was time to have her share in the experience.

That time came in 2011, when we took donated 10 "Barbie bags" to under-priviledged girls in my daughter's school that Christmas.  The bags included a gently-used doll, a change of clothing, and other accessories.  Why gently-used?  Because they came from our own collection, as a means of giving away something of ours, just as I once did, rather than buying something brand new.  And since we were working with a low budget, I also hand-knitted many of the clothing items for the dolls.  We remained anonymous, but my daughter unexpectedly got to witness one of the girls receiving and opening her gift bag on the last day of school before the holidays, and as a result, she came home talking about how much she enjoyed playing "Santa."  That's when I knew we had hit home on the project!

Our next mission was to find more needy girls in our area.  So in 2012, I became aware of Indy Fire and Rescue's need for toys for children who lost their homes to fires and other catastrophic events.  It just so happened that there had been a home explosion that displaced several families in the nearby city of Greenwood, so I homed in on wanting to provide Barbie bags to any of those families, but also any others who were suddenly without any toys of their own.  Enlisting the help of my daughter's Girl Scouts troop, we collected a combination of 14 gently-used AND new dolls, and everyone had fun participating.

In 2013, I decided that it was time to experiment with a larger-scale type of project.  The Peyton Manning Children's Hospital is always looking for gifts for both girls and boys, and I wanted us to help them in the same Barbie spirit of giving as we'd done thus far.  By opening up our gift-giving to include Mattel products as a whole, not just Barbie dolls, we were able to collect over 20 presents for both genders of children who faced short-term and long-term stays at the hospital during the Christmas season.

Sadly, in 2014, we were unable to finalize a dream challenge I had to partner with an overseas orphanage, so in the meantime, I planned out where else we could be of need.  Not that we didn't want to try the hospital again, but I felt like it would be nice to have a new place to turn to each year, if at all possible.  As it turns out, so many charitable organizations get more than they can store so that they don't always need people to donate!  Who knew?!  But I kept digging and asking around until finally this year I was led to email Child Advocates Inc. who jumped at the chance to use The Barbie Girls Project's help.

Accordingly, we are on board to help provide one toy per child to as many as we can for Christmas 2015.  There are over 6,000 children, ages 0-18.  Obviously this is something that will take the generosity of many more people than we already have!  By your donations, we can help shop for new-in-box, Mattel brand toys for all those children who put any sort of Mattel toy down on their wish list.  If we can start with just $100 for our goal, that will easily provide enough for roughly 10 children.  The deadline for accepting donations will be December 2nd so that we can buy the items and have them ready for the pick-up/drop-off date of December 5th.  Items will then be matched and given to each child by their case workers starting December 11th until all have been gifted by December 25th. 

Thanks in advance for your support on this endeavor and please check back often for updates on our progress and additional calls to action!
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Update 19
Posted by Natasha Polak
16 months ago
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The final tally is in! Check out Indy CASA's newsletter and scroll to the news about the toy drive to see our fabulous results!! 3,000 kids received gifts for Christmas!!!!
http://tinyurl.com/zzryybp
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Update 18
Posted by Natasha Polak
17 months ago
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Tomorrow is the big day for all of you in Central Indiana!

Join us at The Pillow Logistics Warehouse at 4105 Vincennes Road, Indianapolis, IN 46260 as we collect and store donations as they come in! 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and again from 5-7 p.m.

We hope to see you there!
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Update 17
Posted by Natasha Polak
17 months ago
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Hi everyone! I am closing out the donations portion of the GoFundMe as of today, because it takes a few days for funds to transfer for use, and we only have THREE MORE DAYS for collecting toys!!!!!!!!!

Reminder for in-person toy drop-offs: you have Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday as final days for advance drop-offs at Sylvan Learning Center, otherwise we ask that you please hold your donated items and bring them with you on December 5th at the Drop-Off Day event!

One last time, the advance Drop-Off locations and hours are as follows:

Monday and Wednesday Nov. 30 and Dec 2
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesday December 1
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Indy North
8450 Westfield Blvd, Ste. 210

Indy West
77 S. Girls School Rd., Ste. 210

Indy South
8729 US Highway 31 South

The Drop-Off Day Event for the public to bring donations is December 5th at The Pillow Logistics Warehouse located at 4105 Vincennes Road. Hours include 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. and again from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. Volunteers will be standing by to take your donations!

Thanks again everyone for making this a special season for so many worthy kids!!!!! I will post information about the total # of children who will be receiving presents for Christmas as soon as all that becomes available!
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Update 16
Posted by Natasha Polak
17 months ago
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The toy drive will be winding down in two weeks. Here is the timeline for advance drop-off locations:

*Drop off at participating Sylvan Learning Centers November 23-December 2nd. Times are the same at all three centers -

Monday and Wednesday Nov. 23, 25, 30, and Dec 2
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesday Nov. 24 and December 1
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Indy North
8450 Westfield Blvd, Ste. 210

Indy West
77 S. Girls School Rd., Ste. 210

Indy South
8729 US Highway 31 South

*The Drop-Off Day Event for the public to bring donations is December 5th at The Pillow Logistics Warehouse located at 4105 Vincennes Road. Hours include 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. and again from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. Volunteers will be standing by to take your donations!
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$260 of $260 goal

Raised by 7 people in 19 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
 Share on Facebook
Created September 25, 2015
Natasha Polak  
$10
Lisa Rucker
17 months ago

god bless

KP
$100
kris polak
17 months ago
KE
$20
Kristen Erwin
17 months ago

I decided to give $20! I didn't have the heart to leave you $10 short of your goal! I used to be in Girl Scouts back in the day, so I get it! Love kids, so I'll do anything to help!

$10
Anonymous
19 months ago
LH
$20
Lisa Hartsell
19 months ago

that your joy may be full

MN
$50
Melissa Novak
19 months ago
$50
Deborah Brown
19 months ago

In loving memory of my mother, Connie Evans who passed away 15 years ago on September 30th.

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