It seems everyone is talking about American Girl dolls this week after the big news that the brand will be finally releasing their first boy character doll, Logan Everett. Now, the dolls — thanks to one amazing young girl — have given us more reasons to smile.
Peace Love Bracelets is a charity that’s all about donating American Girl dolls without hair to children with cancer — and it’s run by a 9-year-old girl named Bella Fricker.
According to The Huffington Post, a number of children in Fricker’s community have passed away over the years. The loss of these young lives made such an impact on Bella that she felt compelled to help in any way she could.
Last October, she had the idea to raise money by making and selling bracelets. The earnings would go toward custom-made Truly Me Dolls Without Hair, which she would gift to children undergoing chemotherapy or radiation in the hospital.
When Bella’s mom Valerie heard her daughter wanted to help the community, she thought she meant on a somewhat smaller scale. She tells Babble:
“I thought, sure we can do a bake sale or something. After all she is 9 years old [so] I didn’t know if the desire to do this would continue. But then I found her in her room and she had already started making bracelets and wanted me to sell them on Facebook to my friends.”
But that drive didn’t stop there. Bella didn’t just want to donate the dolls to the hospital, she wanted to personally gift them to the recipients.
“It is a very rare occasion that you get to actually meet the recipient of a donation,” Valerie told The Huffington Post, “But Bella’s dream was to meet the little girls herself and give them these dolls.”
And that she did — Bella’s been visiting the children and bringing smiles to their faces ever since.
Thus far, she’s raised close to $2,000 and donated four dolls to Laurie Cole at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA), with an initial goal of $3,000 and 15 dolls. Once she reaches that goal, she hopes to raise enough money to donate 20 dolls to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee.
While her determination to help others may come as a surprise to some, to her family, she’s just being Bella.
“She has always kind of been the little caregiver for her brothers in the family. If one of them gets a scratch or something she’s the first one out with her medical box and Band-Aids trying to stop the bleeding and applying Neosporin to prevent infection. Always very helpful,” Valerie tells Babble. “Her dad always calls her little mom because she’s always trying to parent everyone including her parents!”
You too can help Bella reach her goals by purchasing a bracelet (or two), through the Peace Love Bracelets Facebook page.