Gianni Graham's home is teeming with Barbies, but they aren't for her. The Norfolk, Virginia, 9-year-old is collecting the dolls to give to girls in shelters and foster homes.
She came up with the idea last Christmas to collect 1,000 Barbies for less fortunate girls and this week she reached that goal.
“I was building my Barbie doll house and I thought of it,” Gianni told NBC affiliate WAVY of her "Dolls for Dolls" initiative.
U.S. & World
She realized that she could share the joy of owning a Barbie with other girls who are less fortunate and might not have a Barbie, which can range from $5 to $75.
“I feel like girls in shelters should have the same as girls that are not in shelters," said Gianni.
So she and her mother spread the word and once the idea was publicized on Facebook, the dolls came pouring in.
"Everything just happened literally overnight. It's been amazing," said Whitney Graham, Gianni's mother.
Gianni used the two Barbies she received last December as her starting point and within one week she had more than 500 to give away, said Whitney Graham. Many people have sent more than one doll as well as notes with their donations to encourage Gianni to continue with her thoughtful idea.
Gianni plans to personally deliver the Barbies to shelters and mail them to the list of little girls living in foster homes in the Hampton Roads, Virginia, area because, according to the motto on her website, "Every doll deserves a doll."
"Just to know that I have a daughter that’s so selfless and so caring about others, it makes me a very proud mother,” said Whitney.