Vivian, Annette, 88 Barbies and 5 Kens

Every once in-a-while a photo or two arrives in our inbox that makes us smile. Sometimes we smile and are amazed. Sometimes we are flabbergasted!

This story starts with two women remarkable women: Annette and Vivian.



Annette is an amazing woman and a  wonderful volunteer. Annette takes unusual things that are donated to us, things like old Tivos or Emergency Survival Suits, that are obviously not for children, and sells them on eBay to help us pay the rent and utilities. It’s actually unbelievable some of the things that get donated! She’s also a talented photographer and records our events.

Vivian is a full-time volunteer manager. Vivian raised a wonderful family and in her retirement works five days a week helping to manage and run GiftsToGive. Running and managing is pretty much full time work. With all this going on around her, Vivian shines! She serves as a most perfect example (Martha Kay would call it “modeling”) of giving and service and helps us set the tone for being a loving and caring organization. By the way; Vivian is also Annette’s mother.

Last week Vivian took home a bag of assorted “gently-used” Barbie and Ken dolls. They were in pretty tough shape though – bad hair, rumpled and missing clothes and all, not as clean as they should be. (See photo # 1).



Hair was fixed and groomed. Clothes were cleaned and ironed. Grime and dirt were removed. (See photo #2)

As you can see (Photo # 3) Perfect doll sets were assembled and packaged. The outcome is that several dozen local girls will be receiving a great surprise this fall, all because of Annette and Vivian.



Some people talk about making a difference and then there are people who actually make a difference!

When we’re asked how we plan to build a more caring community and how we’re able to do so much good; we talk about Vivian and Annette!

Jim Stevens, our CEO said – ” While what we do is simple, it is not easy. For us to be able to connect thousands of local children to giving and service it takes extraordinary underwriters. For us to be able to have the kind of impact we have it takes extraordinary managers. For us to help build a more caring community it takes people, as Dr. King said, who have a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love. We see this every day in Vivian and in her daughter Annette.”


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