It’s a doll collection any young girl would dream of.
As 11-year-old Anita Baker looks over the nearly 200 dolls surrounding her, she grins
ear-to-ear. Not because they’re going home with her – but because she knows each and every doll will soon be cradled in the arms of a girl who needs one. “I love dolls. I love playing with dolls and that was the first thing that came to my mind,” she beams.
A few weeks ago, Anita set out on a mission – one that would help other girls her age. She decided to collect dolls – plastic, porcelain, new and well loved: then donate them to Baker-Ripley Neighborhood Center.
“I was going through my dolls the other day and I never play with them. Another child could be using them and it could be their best friend. It makes me so happy.“
After combing through her personal collection, she asked for donations at school and in her neighborhood. “It’s a great thing to give back. It’s amazing. You don’t know where they will go but you know that whoever receives them, will need them.”
You might say her passion for helping others runs in the family. Anita’s great-great-grandmother is Alice Graham Baker, who founded BakerRipley more than a century ago. “I want to continue her work.”
And that’s exactly what she’s doing. Anita and her brother Mac, who helped her with this project, plan to start another one soon. “I have so many ideas. From soccer balls, arts and craft supplies, books and maybe jackets or coats,” she says ambitiously.
Anita will make another delivery during Holiday Connections on December 12th at Baker-Ripley Center. She plans to continue scooping up dolls until she meets her goal of 200. If you have any dolls to donate or would like to help her with future projects, email us.
Written by: Jessica Reudelhuber
Photography by: Kelsey Seeker