Giving Back with Barbie #BarbieProject

One of my goals this and every holiday season, is to give back as much as possible. Paying it forward in many little ways and donating toys, food and money to local charities.

While we do give back through the year, we focus on this more during the holiday season, since it’s that time of year to recognize your blessings and try to extend cheer and goodwill to those less fortunate. Plus, it’s Christmas – and at this particular time, no-one should go without the basics life life or even one small present to put a smile on their face. 

Through our efforts, my children know the importance of giving back, they never hesitate to help others or give back when given the opportunity.

As you know, I post monthly regarding my involvement with the #BarbieProject, where I focus on observations of play with Barbie. When asked my thoughts on a December topic when working with the brand – I didn’t have to think twice on what I wanted to accomplish this month.

I wanted to give back and had my choice of charity when doing so.

As you may recall, my oldest daughter had a heart procedure at 18 months old. It’s a life event and experience that will forever be etched on my heart and in my mind. Knowing what parents, the family and even the children themselves, go through during something like this – I never refuse donating to children’s charities. Every bit matters. 

A man sitting on a bed


I wanted to give back with Barbie, to our local Ronald McDonald House, one of the newest houses built in Canada. They have done amazing things for our community thus far, and its presence makes a tremendous difference for families utilizing our city hospital. 

Ronald McDonald House donate holidays barbieproject

Ronald McDonald Houses provide a home away from home for the families of seriously ill children who are staying at a nearby hospital. Our Houses offer families so much more than just a roof over their heads. They have qualified staff and dedicated volunteers who are committed to taking care of the day-to-day essentials of running a home, so families don’t have to worry about them. They have programs that offer everything from education to meditation. And they are filled with many different families who all share a common bond – love for their sick child.

To donate to our Ronald McDonald House, I received a shipment of Barbie toys thanks to my friends at Mattel. Before we delivered the toys, I was doing some housecleaning, Christmas prep and started wrapping presents for my girls. After wrapping, I came across some Barbie toys that were intended for my own children, a shipment from the company as part of my involvement with the #BarbieProject.

I thought about the presents waiting for them under the tree, and all that they have been blessed with through the year. Did they truly need more?

I approached the subject with my girls, being honest in saying that these toys were theirs – but asked if it was alright for them to be given to the children at the Ronald McDonald House instead.

Once again – I waved some Barbie toys that were new in boxes, right in front of my kids faces and said, ‘these are yours but lets give them away”. 

There was a pause from my kids as they stared at the boxes, as expected – they are kids after all, and these are new Barbie dolls and playsets which just appeared out of mid-air, and they were being waved in their faces! Yet after a minute of digesting the situation, they replied, “It’s ok Mom, we have lots. Good idea“. 

Now, I could have decided this on my own and they’d have been none the wiser – yet I wanted to see their reaction. I now know that they are willing to give what’s theirs to others in need. I was very proud of my kids for their willingness, like a notch in the ‘you are succeeding at this’ parenting belt. 

On our donation day, I picked up the girls from school with the Barbie toys for donation loaded in the back of the vehicle. Each of my ladies carried an arm-load of toys into the Ronald McDonald House, so excited to give all these toys. 

Ronald McDonald House red deer donation

We were met with some shock with why we were donating so many brand new Barbie items, yet after an explanation, gratitude was evident. While we couldn’t look around the house nor meet any of the families staying there, we were assured that the toys were going to go to very good homes – kids that needed a smile on their face this holiday season. 

Giving Back with Barbie

For families staying at the Ronald McDonald House, giving toys isn’t just giving something to pass the time. Giving Back with Barbie is gifting play and imagination. Perhaps some children will be taken away from their daily challenges, to a far land and a great adventure and as far as their mind stretches.

A living room filled with barbies

This year many will have to spend their holiday season at the Ronald McDonald House, but the play that Barbie provides will take them beyond those walls and away from the hospital. 

A group of people standing next to a little girl sitting on a table

On the way home from donating, Miss Katie once again asked questions about the house and the families that might be there. It’s something we had covered before when the Ronald McDonald House was first built in our city, yet she must have needed the reassurance.

After I answered and explained as best I could, the kids were completely silent for the rest of the ride home, just staring out the window and thinking. I’m confident that this experience made a positive impact on my kids as it did myself. 

It’s not too late to give this holiday season, and when you do – remember that your donation means more than the tangible item that it is, like a Barbie for example. For the recipient it means so much more, and perhaps at a time when they need it most. 

Ronald McDonald House



Text, whiteboard


I am apart of The Barbie Project and I receive special perks as part of my
affiliation. The opinions are, as always, my own. . .




  1. Oh this brings me near to tear! The Ronald McDonald House has a special place in our hearts for all it has done for many of our friends. So this touches my heart to see your donation that is sure to bring so many smiles to the kids there.

  2. I love hearing stories of children giving to others. I bet your oldest was thrilled to help other little girls when she once was in their shoes. Bless their little hearts and love that Barbie is helping others this Holiday Season too.

  3. You have some really special girls there. I think it’s wonderful that they are so giving of spirit.

  4. What a priceless way to give back during the holidays! I bet the children receiving those gifts are going to be so grateful! Thanks for your inspiring message of giving!

  5. I think this was the perfect way to give back! I hope to bless many kids with something to open this Christmas.

  6. It’s so important to give back and take some time to reflect on the real meaning of the holidays. Playtime is one of the most important things in the world – not just for children. A happy, healthy community benefits everyone and every child needs something, even if it’s small, to help refresh their imagination and inspire play.

  7. Oh how wonderful! I took part in a giving campaign and donated toys to the local women’s shelter and the looks on everyone’s faces just makes it so special. We are a Barbie loving family and I know how special the dolls were to receive every year when I was a child and then when my daughter was little. YAY to Mattel and you for making this happen!

  8. Your daughters are such angels! You’re doing an awesome job if you’ve got three little givers like that!

  9. That is really sweet that you and the girls gave back. The thoughtfulness goes a long way! I try to raise my son to be caring like this too.

  10. What a wonderful way to teach your girls the power of giving. Although, it sounds like they already know it!

  11. What a great thing you did- both in donation and teaching your kids! We love to support our RMH in Delaware because that’s where our docs are!

  12. Aaaww… your girls look so happy to help too! That makes it all the more meaningful. They are learning young how important giving is! Good job mom!

  13. I love reading stories like this! It’s always awesome to give to such great places like RMH! How awesome of Mattell to donate all those barbies!

  14. The Barbie Project seems like a great way to give back this season. I love Paying it Forward whenever I have the chance.

  15. What an amazing gift for your family and the families staying there. The holidays always seem brighter when we can give.

  16. It sure seems like the lesson had a big impact on them. They had a lot to toss around in their brains as they processed the experience.

  17. This is a beautiful experience you have shared. Thank you so much. Any project that puts smiles on children’s faces, is tops in my book!

  18. It is a great way to remember the forgotten. All people are vulnerable around the holidays, but especially the children.

  19. Great Job! I have a soft spot for Ronald McDonald houses, it’s a great charity and a close friend was the Executive Director of one near us for a long time. The service they offer is invaluable to families that are already in a tough spot.

  20. This is such an amazing story. I love that you asked the girls, and had them take part in the decision that is something I try to do as a Mom too. It is important to teach kids to give back but also not to force them to, just to teach them the skills to make that decision. This is such a wonderful campaign!

  21. What a wonderful way for kids to give back and your girls look so proud of their compassionate giving.

  22. WOW!!! I had no clue that your DD had a heart procedure when she was a baby. That must have been very hard. Your tree is gorgeous and your heart is huge Tammi! Love this post and very happy to see the girls involved with you in being compassionate this season! How awesome is that.

  23. You can definitely be very, very proud of your daughters, what a wonderful thing for them to do and so selflessly too.
    No child should be without something to open on Christmas morning and now there will be less without and more with, brilliant 🙂

  24. Barbie is the quintessential gift for a little girl. I’ve loved her since I was little and now my daughters do, too.

  25. What generous and giving young ladies. You must be so proud of these girls.
    Marilyn and family

  26. What a wonderful post, you and your children did a very beautiful thing bringing all of those toys to the families in the Ronald Mcdonald house. Merry Christmas.

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