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Image of ugly dolls made by students at Bullard Talent K-8 School.
A big round of thanks goes out to the students at Bullard Talent K-8 School for all their hard work in making their ugly dolls!

Students Sell ‘Ugly Dolls’ to Help Support Campus Cupboard

FRESNO STATE — The Amendola Family Student Cupboard at Fresno State received a $440 donation from a group of innovative students at Bullard Talent K-8 School.

Image of the Fresno State logo.The school’s elective sewing class, taught by Fresno State alumna Janice Marshall, is mission driven. Students in sixth through eighth grades learn various sewing skills and spend the school year creating “ugly dolls,” which are sold at the school’s open house to raise funds for local causes.

This year, the students raised almost $900 — $440 of which was gifted to the Amendola Family Student Cupboard, a free food and hygiene pantry for current Fresno State students. Another $440 was gifted to the Animal Compassion Team of California.

Image of a volunteer at the student cupboard.

A volunteer at the student cupboard.

“Every student who signed up for this class knew [we were] fundraising,” said Finley, an eighth grader. “We want to make sure Fresno State’s students know they don’t have to worry about going hungry or having basic products. We want to make sure they know that we have their back.”

Marshall’s students created a variety of “ugly dolls,” including Disney-themed dolls, dolls in the shape of hearts, flowers and various foods, and dolls that were freestyled from the students’ imagination.

“We call them ugly dolls, after the original movie, but there’s nothing ugly about them. They’re actually works of art,” Marshall said.

Image of Bullard Talent students posing with check.

Bullard Talent students pose with check.

The students are only in the class two or three days per week, so some dolls took nearly a month to complete.

“Everybody kept pace. And a majority of these students are also involved in all of our performing arts — show choir, our dance ensemble, our play, our bands and orchestra. They’re doing all kinds of things in addition to this.”

The Amendola Family Student Cupboard offers a variety of perishable and non-perishable food items, including fresh produce donated by both on- and off-campus community partners. Hygiene products such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and laundry detergent are given out twice a month, and diapers are also available once a month for students with children living in their household.

Image of Alicia Nelson.

Alicia Nelson.

“It’s inspiring that young students already have that philanthropic mindset and want to donate to the University and the Amendola Family Student Cupboard,” said Alicia Nelson, director of the Amendola Family Student Cupboard. “Their hearts are in the right place, and we hope they continue with their giving spirit in the future.”

The $440 donated by Marshall’s class is enough to provide Fresno State students 440 frozen meals, 175 half gallons of milk, or 240 packs of baby wipes.

“We’re very thankful for the donation,” Nelson said. “Every dollar counts toward supporting students’ basic needs.”

Image of shelves at the student cupboard. Founded in 2014, the Amendola Family Student Cupboard is open year-round and serves nearly 3,000 students each year with a total of over 20,000 visits for the past academic year.

The Amendola Family Student Cupboard is primarily funded by donations.

To donate to the Amendola Family Student Cupboard, contact David Hembree at 559-278-5052 or dhembree@csufresno.edu, or visit studentaffairs.fresnostate.edu.

By Marisa Mata.

A short video about the Amendola Family Student Cupboard. 

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