By Guest Blogger Ashley Neubauer, Founder & Owner of The AG Connection
For over 35 years, many girls have dreamed of owning their own American Girl Doll. The dolls’ adorable faces and heartfelt stories are something special. My daughter received her first American Girl Doll from Santa when she was 5 years old, and we have been collecting them ever since. These dolls have been such a special part of my daughter’s childhood and they have brought so much joy to us both.
In November of 2020, during the height of the pandemic, my heart was breaking for people in my community who were struggling to make ends meet. So many people didn’t know how they were going to provide holiday gifts for their kids. I wanted to help make the dream of having an American Girl Doll come true for a child.
How The AG Connection Began
I bought a previously loved American Girl Doll for a good price and set out to find a family in need. It gave me so much joy to bless someone else. Over the next year, I collected five more dolls, and searched Facebook to find families in need. The response was overwhelming! I had 5 dolls to give away and 30 doll requests. I reached out to my friends and family for help. People from all over the Triad started donating their previously loved American Girl Dolls. It was then that I realized that we were onto something, and The AG Connection was born.
So many people wanted to help, for example, my friends searched thrift stores and auctions online to find good deals. I quickly learned how to fix broken doll legs, remove marker stains, repair dry, tangled hair, and re-wig dolls that received terrible haircuts.
In December of 2021, we donated 21 dolls to children in the Triad area, but we still had more names on the waitlist. We continued to search for dolls throughout the year. This holiday season we have enough dolls to complete our 2021 waitlist with some dolls left over to give to new applicants. Each child receives a doll, a book, and a hairbrush. Sometimes they get a little extra surprise like pajamas, accessories, or extra clothes.
It warms my heart to receive texts, emails, and pictures from the families who have been blessed by these dolls. It feels wonderful to be one of Santa’s helpers!
Ways to Help
So far, The AG Connection has donated 33 American Girl Dolls, but we still have children on the waitlist. Here are some ways you can be involved. Spread the word and tell your people about the work we are doing. If you want to donate a doll, please email Ashley Neubauer at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to nominate a child to receive a doll, please fill out this doll request form. Find us on Facebook to follow our adventures.