Emergency Doll & Bear Dispatch
Welcome To Our Project Of Hope.
Imagine that you are a little girl, say 5 years old. You have been battered, molested or utterly neglected~or maybe all three. You have been told that you are a bad girl, that it is your fault and that you are no good. You believe every word. Then one day, a stranger comes to take you away. You cry, terrified, and promise to be good, if only they will let you stay. They ignore your desperate pleas and take you anyway. All your belongings are left behind, including your special blanket or your beloved bear. They take you to a foster home to live with people you don't know and have never seen before. Maybe it's a good, loving home and maybe not. Maybe you are abused again. Or maybe because you are so emotional, the family is unprepared to care for you properly. Just when you get used to being there, you are taken away again and placed in yet another home~and another~and another. After you have been in 12 different homes (this is the average), you are taken to the Village of Childhelp West, a residential treatment facility, in Beaumont, CA. By now you are about 9 years old. You have no real family and no home. You have no idea of what it's like to be a child. You are severely traumatized, physically, emotionally and mentally. You have been "thrown away" over and over again. In your mind, what your abuser/s told you long ago has been repeatedly confirmed-there is something seriously wrong with you. You don't deserve anything good and you don't expect anything. Try to imagine what your view of the world must be.
Now imagine that someone gives you an American Girl doll! It is the most beautiful doll you've ever seen-and it looks like you! You knew these dolls existed in another world far from your own. They are the dolls that special little girls get-girls who have real homes and real doting families-girls who are definitely not worthless. You never thought in a million years that YOU would ever have one! You look around and see that the other girls have American Girl dolls, too. Now you can play dolls with your new friends, like ordinary girls do. Now maybe, at least some of the time, you can just be a child. And just maybe you feel a little more special than you did before.
News, Sept. 7, 2016
This year is the 10th anniversary of the project! On October 5th, 2006, the first 32 American Girl dolls were placed in the arms of Childhelp children. Every girl got one. Some of their beautiful thank you letters are posted here on the site, as a testament to how much they loved them. Please read the letters; they are the best thing here! Letters from the children
From the beginning...
Letters from the children
Here you can see the very special letters written in thanks for their very special gift.