They say charity starts at home. This is typically used to support the notion that we are to do for our own before doing for others. At the tender age of 8, a remarkable young lady followed an intuition, that turned into a vision that is now the media trending #JosilynsBarbieBrunch.
Allow me to set the premise: two little girls playing and one notices that the other doesn’t own any Barbie dolls. For a girl who I quote, “has too many to count” this saddened and concerned her into action.
Josilyn was that little girl who’s found an immeasurable value in playing with Barbie dolls. I called her to the get her heart’s vision behind the brunch and why Barbies are so important to little girls. Her mother, Kellie is a pre-teen comrade of mine who’s now raising this revolutionary spirit along with a supportive dad and a village that spans across the country!
Josilyn tells me the importance of having a Barbie doll: Not just to play dress up (she’s known to make Barbie clothes with tape and paper) but to play with ‘when you’re bored, or sad, or anything… You can even make movies.’
I asked her to elaborate and she disclosed that she’s created a Barbie Wedding video. I was amazed. Then she told me she’d like to be a director of film, animation and commercials. What an ambitious being I was in awe of the entire while.
But this isn’t about Josilyn, this is about her heart to give.
In a time and age that philanthropy can be as foreign as the wiles of the world, she’s set a goal to collect and give away 1,000 Barbie dolls throughout various Chicago organizations including Lowden Homes, Trumbull Park of CHA, Ada S. McKinley Youth Services, BLM of Englewood and partnering with University Church in Chicago to name a few. Yes, this is a thing!
At first vision, Josilyn saw this as a brunch at the house like the good old days in Nashville. They’d invite her friends and family while collecting about a hundred dolls. I quote, “Mom and dad supported my vision and gave me the most amazing brunch I could’ve ever imagined.” I heard a glee and appreciation in her voice that pierced my soul.
After chatting about her vision and how this has become something bigger than they’d all originally signed up for, I dared ask this extraordinary sweet little lady what’s next?
Is this an annual thing? Wise beyond her years, she told me, “Yes, I do have plans for what’s next. My brother and I are looking to partner for TMNT drive for boys!” I almost dropped the phone. Aside from my personal affinity for ninja turtles, I love the aspiration behind her equitable giving. She is a visionary with a heart of gold at the tender age of eight years old.
I thanked her and promised my support before letting her go off to bed, I had to ask one more question: Now that the brunch is done, are you satisfied, overwhelmed, what are you feeling like now? She was thoughtful with an innocence and wisdom I’m not wildly familiar with before exclaiming, “Well, yes because I’d really like to reach my goal of 1,000 Barbies before Christmas and I think we can do it. There are so many things you can do with Barbies and every little girl should experience that. I will be excited for them to have one, just like I am with mine.” *drops mic
Here’s the contact information to donate a Barbie for the holidays:
Attn: Kellie Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org for PayPal or mailing arrangements.
Josilyn knew at 3-years-old her ‘favorite color’ was pink, zebra and glitter. I’d have to attribute this to Barbie and the legacy of phenomenal women in her world.
I’m A Comeaux and I’ve just had the best interview of my career yet and for the first time in all my life, I’m going shopping for Barbies.
A Comeaux is the writer, speaker and actor who poetically paints pictures of life and love with a paradoxical perspective. Follow her on Twitter @KCOSpoke
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