Gianni Graham may be small, but the 9-year-old girl from Norfolk, Va., clearly has a big heart: She has made a New Year’s resolution to collect 1,000 Barbie dolls to give away to 1,000 girls in foster homes and shelters across Hampton Roads, Va., WTKR reports.
Of course, Gianni knows that food and clothes are important to girls her age as well, but she is also insistent that it’s important to have a doll friend by your side.
“I feel like girls in shelters should have the same as girls not in shelters,” the little girl told the news station.
And she plans to let the girls who receive her dolls know as much, by writing a letter to each of them to accompany the doll and to give the recipient comfort.
“I wanted to inspire them and give encouragement,” she said.
Back when WTKR spoke to Gianni earlier this month, Gianni had already secured five dolls. Two of them were actually her own Christmas gifts, but instead of playing with the dolls, she decided to donate them to her cause.
According to the Huffington Post, Whitney Graham, Gianni’s mom, said that the precocious child came up with the idea a few days after Christmas while playing with her own dolls.
“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,” Graham told HuffPost.
In the two weeks since her original interview with WTKR, Gianni has received more than 500 dolls from across the country to donate to her cause.
“I didn’t know it was going to get that far,” Gianni said.