Girl, 9, Donates 1,800 Barbies To Children in Need - and Wants To Take Her Campaign National
This 9-year-old Barbie girl has proven that when you dream big, the outcome can be even bigger.
Gianni Graham, from Hampton Roads, Virginia, began the year with a New Year's resolution to send 1,000 Barbie dolls to 1,000 girls living in foster homes and shelters.
"EVERY DOLL DESERVES A DOLL" - @1kbarbiesfor1kgirls THANK YOU TO GIANNI'S CLASS AND EVERYONE WHO HAS STARTED SHARING THE STORY AND HELPING THE CAUSE WE ARE APPROACHING 700 DOLLS AND COUNTING. ALL LITTLE GIRLS SHOULD FEEL THE POWER OF LOVE & UNITY!! KEEP THEM COMING!! #1kBarbiesfor1kgirls #dollsfordolls #everydolldeservessadoll @1kbarbiesfor1kgirls @dollsfordolls
She completed the goal within weeks, and now has 1,827 dolls and counting for local girls in need.
But that's not enough for Gianni. This summer, she plans to expand her goal to reach girls not just in her community, but to communities across America.
"I felt like I was dreaming," her mom, Whitney Graham, told InsideEdition.com. "It brings tears to my eyes to see how big her heart is."
Her mom told InsideEdition.com that they were first inspired to spread their efforts when they realized that many people interested in the campaign and actively donating Barbies were from out-of-state. She even said their first shipment, consisting of 30 Barbies, came from outside Virginia.
They also discovered that just months after they began the campaign, they were able to hand deliver nearly 1,200 Barbies to girls in their area through connections with local foster care agencies and group homes.
Given the success of the campaign, Gianni believes more girls across America that would need the dolls as well.
"Every 24 hours, somebody's child is being removed from the home," Whitney said, including that they donate about 10 or 20 Barbies to each group home they visit, but some have asked for as many as 90.
"Gianni explained to me that the Barbie can be a friend to the young girls when they feel that they have no one to talk to about the situations they face living in shelters and foster homes,” Whitney said.
Through traveling friends and family, the Grahams are even planning to send Barbie dolls to orphanages as far as Haiti and Spain.
To begin setting up campaigns for major cities across the United States, Gianni started enlisting girls across the United States to become ambassadors to the cause.
So far, girls from as far as Miami, Atlanta, Hawaii and New York have started collecting dolls in their cities.
Whitney said that by asking local girls to become ambassadors, "we can empower these young girls to be leaders."
During her summer break from school, Gianni plans to visit some of the girls who have started their own 1k Barbies for 1k Girls campaign to help them get started.
"I want to collect 10,000 Barbies for every city," she said.
For further information on donating or becoming a young ambassador, visit http://www.1kbarbiesfor1kgirls.com.