The Best Christmas Gift: A Child's Joy

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Jessica Bachus, left, started Dolls for Daughters as a way of dealing with the grief she felt when her daughter Kenzi was stillborn. From the CBS Evening News, Dec. 22, 2010.
CBS
Christmas began with the birth of a child and the holiday has always been very much about children. This is the story of a woman whose tragic loss of a child inspired her to bring Christmas joy to many other children. CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen tells a story of "The American Spirit of Giving."


On the Bachus tree where the children help hang ornaments, the angel is for Kenzi.

Jessica Bachus was five months pregnant with Kenzi over Christmas 2006. A month later Kenzi was stillborn.

"I was overcome by grief," says Jessica."

Petersen reports from her grief came a way to survive. "Since I couldn't give a doll to my daughter, I wanted to give dolls to other girls in the community."

She called it Dolls for Daughters.

She got donations, and in 2007 gave 150 new dolls to girls who might have gone without. The next Christmas, more than 500 dolls. In 2009, 1,100 dolls.

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This year, 2010, it mushroomed to more than 4,000 toys with volunteers who set up in a donated location from Kim Robards Dance.

The need for a helping hand this Christmas runs deep. That's why some parents showed up five hours before the doors opened.

Inside, there were heaps of toys including a special doll for a girl named Jessica.

"I love it," she says.

And this year something new: toys for boys.

"What do you like?" Jessica asks a little boy. "We have trucks and cars and planes and boats."

A toy pig may be Jayden's only present. "Piggy," he says.

"I think that's the true meaning of Christmas," says Jayden's mother. "Giving to others."

All driven by the pain of losing a child.

"My angel Kenzi is here and she is helping all these families," says Jessica Bachus.

Pain, that on this day, created the best of all Christmas gifts: a child's joy.