Girl,11, Spreads Holiday Cheer With Barbie Doll Drive

Michele Fiore
December 22, 2018 - 2:05 pm
Josilyn Martin-Richardson

WBBM Newsradio/Michele Fiore


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Josilyn Martin-Richardson, 11, hosted her fourth annual “Barbie Brunch and Toy Drive” today in an effort to collect 1,000 Barbie Dolls to donate to children at LaRabida Children’s Hospital, the Chicago Housing Authority, Ada S. McKinley Youth Services and in underserved Chicago neighborhoods. 

The toy drive was held at the Promontory Chicago in Hyde Park, where those bringing in a Barbie Doll to donate were treated to holiday music, free gourmet cupcakes and a-arts-and-crafts station for the kids.

Martin-Richardson said she started the toy drive when she was seven and has been doing it with her mom every year since then, bringing in about 1,000 Barbie Dolls for donation each year.

Barbie Doll drive
WBBM Newsradio/Michele Fiore

She said she thought of the idea when she was seven years old, and brought a Barbie to the park to play with. There, she met a girl who said she'd never owned a Barbie Doll. Martin-Richardson went home to ask her mom if they could get Barbie Dolls for all girls whose families couldn't afford them.  Kellie Martin, her mother, said yes, and they've been doing it ever since.

To donate, you can use PayPal and send a cash donation to or you can pick out a Barbie Doll from Wal-Mart and select to have In-Store Pickup at the Richton Park Wal-Mart, then email Kellie to let her know it's there at