Bath and Laundry Day
One of the mother-daughter teams who help take care of our American Girl Doll collection recently blogged about their latest adventure.
Volunteer Ranya Mike writes,
When we picked up our first group of dolls, we were handed a bag. It contained our supplies: a box of baking soda, a dry-cleaning kit, a brush and a comb, and Clorox wipes. We were also handed specific instructions on what to do and how to do it. It all seemed simple enough, until we actually had to do it!
We had ten dolls in our first group. Ten dolls each wearing an outfit complete with underwear, anklets, socks or leggings, shoes, and belt. Some girls had eye glasses, hair bows, and shoulder bags. Each of these outfits needed to be taken apart, sprayed with stain remover where stained, disposed into the dry-cleaning bag and run in the dryer. We decided to do the dry-cleaning all in one batch. This later provided us with a challenge and a learning opportunity…
Once naked, the dolls needed to be “washed” and groomed. A bowl of baking soda mixed with warm water and a soft washcloth constituted their bath. Their hands, legs and faces were carefully wiped down. As they were drying off, we tended to their hair; and did the best we could. Some girls had straight flowing hair, others had theirs in tangles. We gently teased, pulled and prodded: some to no avail while others emerged with beautiful styles.
After the load [of laundry] was done, we stared at the pile of clothes. Yes they were sanitized, but the pile was one giant mess. When we decided to launder all the clothes together I had missed an important detail: although there were many of the same dolls on hand, each had a unique barcode by which she and her belongings were identified. We had to match each item to its exact owner; we couldn’t just simply dress them up. This proved a little daunting for three reasons: the number of garments, because some items weren’t labelled, and because some clothes had come to us mismatched.
But we couldn’t let this challenge get in our way. It slowed us down but didn’t stop us…
Read about how Ranya and Jannah-Rae solved this problem, and see more photos of the process, on her blog, Ranya, the Memory Keeper.
We are grateful to have such fabulous, talented and patient volunteers – thank you Ranya and JR!
Interested in becoming a Library volunteer? Check out the Current Openings on our Volunteer Page.