Winter Newsletter

Winter Newsletter
a one year donation project in 2022

with a magical outcome!

One year ago, in January 2022, I received a phone call from a gentleman in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, named “Don”.  He told me that he had received my name from his doctor, a person that Simplified Lives had recently helped move to Florida.  He said he had “a huge problem to deal with and he was hoping I could help him – or find someone to help him.”  He said, “I am truly at wit’s end”.  I made an appointment for the following week – and thus began a journey for the donation of 1600 dolls! (Not a typo!) This was my pro-bono work for 2022.

On December 26, 2022, the Providence Journal newspaper published a wonderful article about the donation of all of these dolls.  The article by Frank Lennon, available by clicking here – is worth taking the time to read! 

To summarize how we helped Don, and his daughter, Susan, it really began with visiting them at home, and understanding that they really did have 1600 new dolls, in cases, stored everywhere in their house!  Each one of the dolls had been created with a disability, or sickness (as in dolls that have no hair because of chemo treatments). Because the family company had closed, Don and Susan did not have the ability to sell all of the dolls, and we had to brainstorm how to get the dolls donated, and removed, from their home.  Don and I talked every couple of weeks in February, and finally in March, Don got the greenlight from his lawyer that the “Sew Dolling, LLC” company was legally closed; we could now begin donating the dolls.

I took one of the dolls to the Simplified Lives office and tried to figure-out how to connect with logical places that could manage the donation of all of the dolls.  Last Spring, I tried to contact all of the logical places – and the response I received was discouraging; too many dolls for one organization or hospital. And also trying to connect with a way to have the dolls donated in the New England region because I did not want to try to figure out shipping and logistics. 

I did have a good conversation with Humboldt Moving & Storage Company in Canton, MA, they came down to East Greenwich, RI to assess the size of the pick-up, for storage.  Humboldt agreed to pick up all of the dolls, and to store them for several months, if I could tell them where the dolls were going to be donated. So, I had secured storage, but dead-end after dead-end on who wanted all of the wonderful dolls.  

In July, I was still trying to find a way to get all of the dolls donated.  I was having monthly calls with Don to keep his spirits up – and to assure him that I was still “on the hunt” for a way to get the dolls donated.

In mid-July, I got another regional auto-reply rejection, “wrong time of the year for doll donations”; I was very discouraged!  My husband is an author, Edward Achorn, he works in a home office.  I went in to talk with him about how frustrated I was trying to get the 1600 dolls donated!  He has several thousand people who follow him on social media; Ed put out a plea for “anyone who could help, or be interested a very large donation of new dolls”.

About 3 weeks later, out-of-the-blue, I got a call, I answered and heard, “Hi, my name is David Sarlitto; I am the Director of the Ocean State Job Lot Foundation – and I am supposed to call you about some dolls”. 

A miracle!  To this day, we do not know who made the direct connection with the Foundation – but it was a miracle!

David was masterful in finding the right places for all of the doll donations!  The article is worth reading – it will bring tears to your eyes!  Everyone of 1600 disabled dolls is now in the hands of a very happy child! Susan and Don were thrilled with the outcome, and they know that every doll is in the hands of a deserving child!

A yearlong project with a magical ending!

Read the Providence Journal article

At a recent holiday gathering, I was chatting with friends, who asked me about the most interesting things we had helped a family with in 2022. I told them the story of the Sew Dolling, LLC company and our help with getting all of those dolls donated.

Then I added, “We helped a family sell an incredible military weapon collection!”  Simplified Lives helped a client whose deceased husband had collected weapons and military paraphernalia his entire life!  The gentleman’s military career took him around the world, and he had spent his entire life buying and collecting!  Civil war weapons were his special area of interest. He left an office, and several storage units, filled to the brim with old weapons and military trappings.

We suggested that all the weapons and military accoutrements would go into a very specialized auction. The client was extraordinarily pleased with the professional pick-up and handling of all of the items, the management of the sale — and the financial proceeds that were well beyond expectations!  

Simplified Lives has a top resource for anything our clients want to sell!

Simplified Lives is a Circle of Service Award winner from the National Association of Senior Move Managers ( as well as a winner of the prestigious Diamond Society Award which recognizes Circle of Service members with 10 or more years of NASMM membership in good standing.

By Valerie Achorn

Valerie Achorn, M.P.A., President of Simplified Lives has many years of experience managing moves for clients around the country. Holding a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (M.P.A.) from Harvard University, Valerie brings a broad management background and savvy networking skills to Simplified Lives.