Forever Friends book cover


Karol and D.G. Smeall have teamed up again, this time to develop a marketing strategy for promoting their book, Forever Friends. The Volunteer Intern Program (VIP) was patterned after a similar platform Karol developed early-on at Toy Rescue Mission. With TRM as the umbrella organization, VIP high school and post high school students will earn community service credit satisfying high school or continuing education requirements while they gain practical, on-the-job experience as they explore the knowledge and skills related to all aspects of author promotion and distribution of a self-published work, using social media, online strategies and data information.



Two as-yet unknown Authors, Karol Barkley and D.G. Smeall, are seeking to market their little-known book, Forever Friends. The task of performing this on their own is daunting, but with the help of students willing to participate in the Internship Program (the Program), they can accomplish their first goal of repaying publication costs (as of 2017) incurred by Karol Barkley. Once recoupment of this investment has been accomplished, the Authors will begin acquiring royalties from all sales. These royalties will be divided equally among the two book authors, with a percentage donated to the non-profit organization, Toy Rescue Mission ~ TRM ~ ( to assist with on-going, operational expenses. In exchange for this support, an agreement between the Program Administrators (Authors) and the TRM Board of Directors allows the Administrators to provide recognized community service credit to students under the non-profit organization’s 501(c)(3) status. The Administrators chose TRM to be a recipient of this stipend because of their past ties with the agency; Karol Barkley as the Founder and Past President/Director for twenty-one years, and D.G. (Donna) Smeall as a former TRM Newsletter Editor and loyal volunteer for many years.


In their chosen internship field, high school and post-high school students will gain practical, on-the-job experience as they explore the knowledge and skills related to all aspects of author promotion and distribution of a self-published work, using social media, online strategies and data information.


Opportunities to:
  • Explore new skills, or further develop existing ones
  • Demonstrate valuable job-related and marketable skills
  • Gain job-specific work experience
  • Motivation for students to become more focused and goal-oriented
  • Community service credit satisfying high school or continuing education requirements
On-the-job experience may be gained in:
  • Marketing & Advertising
  • Graphics Design
  • Creative Display
  • Events Planning
  • Program/project development
  • Data Management: opportunities to utilize one’s skills to expand data base development and management, records management and data entry
  • Word processing, business & internet correspondence, and internet research
Financial Remuneration:

It is to be understood by all parties concerned (Administrators/Authors, students, instructors, and Toy Rescue Mission) that no monetary compensation will be given in exchange for the time and effort provided by the students or their instructors. This is strictly a volunteer opportunity given in exchange for earned community service credit.


  1. The Internship Program (“The Program”) will provide students with opportunities to gain first-hand experience in specific applied areas of personal interest and study as it relates to this project.
  2. The Program will allow opportunity to increase a student’s job-related experience and skills while challenging their performance and attitudes.
  3. The Program will offer opportunities to build working relationships with the Administrators/Authors and other related professionals, thus promoting teamwork to accomplish common goals.
  4. The Program will offer a constructive, productive, and challenging learning environment.
  5. The Program will provide opportunity for personal growth and increased responsibility. Students may encounter challenges in time management as they learn to set deadlines and make decisions necessary to meet them.
  6. A “hands on” learning environment contributes to placing a high value on continuing education and advancing career goals. Students learn to apply academics beyond the classroom setting, to “real-life” needs within their community.
  7. The Program encourages improved self-esteem, confidence and an optimistic outlook for personal growth.

The Program seeks to encourage students to bring their unique talents and potential to this project in exchange for the opportunity to enhance their training in a real-life environment while earning community-service credit. As Administrators of the Program, we seek to foster passion and potential that will empower them to improve their skills as they hone their own special talents and abilities.

Students applying to the Program must demonstrate a sincere desire to apply themselves, be accountable and committed to making a real contribution, and to this extent, they will be assessed on the quality and performance of their work.

The Program will provide:

  • Mentors, guidance and training working individually with the Administrators to further develop skills in marketing and advertising, creative display, computer/internet applications, data base management; internet research, business and internet correspondence, records management, events planning, and networking. Students participating in this program will have access to professionals in their community and beyond as they work in their field-of-interest.
  • A commitment to each student from the outset of the program that we will be using measurable objectives and evaluations to track their progress.
  • One-on-one evaluation: students will be evaluated periodically throughout their internship, and will be provided with honest, constructive assessment of their progress. At the end of their internship period, each student successfully completing the Program will receive community service credit, a Certificate of Accomplishment, and if desired, a Letter of Recommendation for their professional portfolio.

"Forever Friends" is the inspiring story told by Karol Barkley and D. G. Smeall, of a young girl who grows up in the Hawaiian Islands. Follow Karol on her exciting journey through her daily life as she introduces the reader to the food, culture, and language of life in Hawaii. As the story unfolds, you will meet Karol’s “Forever Friends.” The first was a gift given to her by her father and later the second, as she finds comfort in her relationship with God when she must leave her beloved Hawaiian home to relocate in Washington State with family she barely knew.

What will it take for Karol to survive and conquer these life-changing events? How does she overcome the devastating losses that no child wants to encounter? Take the journey with Karol and Dot to see how it all ends, and begins anew.

Purchase Forever Friends From:

Amazon Books    Amazon Kindle    Barnes and Noble    iBooks    Kobo

Why Toy Rescue Mission?

Bio the life of Karol Barkley,
Founder of Toy Rescue Mission

Believing that nothing happens by chance, Karol Barkley, took the unfortunate events of her early life and turned them into a favorable outcome. The evidence of that was the creation of a Tacoma-based nonprofit organization that has impacted the local community for over 25 years.

As an only child, Karol was born and raised until her teen years in Kailua, Hawaii. At the age of 10 Karol (known in the islands as “Nani”) lost her father to a heart attack. Just 12 days after her father’s death, Karol received a precious gift, a doll, Poor Pitiful Pearl. Her father had purchased it earlier in the year as a Christmas gift, not knowing he wouldn’t be there to give it to her. No one realized at the time the impact that doll was to have in Karol’s adult life!

Two and a half years after losing her father, Karol lost her mother to cancer. She was forced to leave her beloved home, friends and the local cultural influences of her early life, to move to Tacoma, WA to live with her paternal grandparents. Her doll, Pearl, was one of the few possessions she was allowed to take with her.

Karol remained in Tacoma where she later married Wesley (Tim) Barkley, and raised two daughters, Brenda and Dayna. As time passed, Karol’s family grew to include the blessings of four grandchildren, Kurtis and Kristen Lunden, and Kamryn and Karter Bunting. For most of her adult life, Karol focused on her family. After her daughters grew up and left home, Karol completed training and pursued a (13-year) career in the medical field as a Certified Medical Assistant (CMA).

Realizing her career alone was not filling the void created after her daughters left home, Karol searched for a new focus. The comfort and security she had derived from her beloved doll in the years following the death of her parents compelled her to find a means of providing other “uprooted” or needy children with a symbol of comfort. Her beloved Pearl, and the insecurity of losing almost everything from her childhood, became the inspiration for a new chapter in Karol’s life: the birth of Toy Rescue Mission, an all-volunteer-run non-profit agency. Karol turned her pastime for frequenting thrift stores into what soon became her passion.

Karol had learned early-on that toys, though not a basic life need, like food and shelter, are the TOOLS children need to carry out their all-important task of playing. Imagination and play are as important to a child’s emotional and mental development as food and shelter are to their physical well-being. Over the years, and with the help of thousands of volunteers, TRM became a successful conduit for recycling “once-loved” toys, while providing the children of Karol’s community with a symbol of comfort and security. As the primary Financial and Resource Manager early on in TRM’s history, one of her tasks was to generate reliable support and development for the organization. In the process, Karol became an accomplished grant writer, inspirational speaker, and events coordinator!

Nearing retirement, Karol was committed to ensuring the program’s stability and continuance and found that assurance no closer than in the person of her loyal Vice President, Martha Davis. Confident in Martha’s mutual passion and professional background as a local business woman, Karol felt secure in knowing that the organization would be in excellent and capable hands! Karol retired in 2011, and today finds satisfaction in Martha’s faithful pursuit to grow and expand TRM as it continues to bless the lives of many gift-recipients and volunteers throughout the community.

Through the volunteer opportunities of TRM, others continue to learn what Karol discovered early-on; that books and toys can communicate without making a sound! They generate comfort and imagination…as in the case of a stuffed toy to hug at bedtime in an unfamiliar shelter… or a doll to share secrets with when you are lonely and afraid…or a Lego set that allows you to escape your unhappy surroundings as you are temporarily transported into a world of imagination and creativity.

Although Karol has retired from her tasks at TRM, these days she finds life as equally full and rewarding. After years of persuasion and repeated requests during her many speaking engagements to tell the “story” behind “Why Toy Rescue Mission?”, Karol teamed up with former TRM Newsletter Editor and co-author, Donna Smeall, to become a children’s storybook author. The resulting book, *Forever Friends, is adapted from Karol’s early life. The authors hope it will be the first in a collection of 12 books focusing on uplifting stories of ethnic dolls that find homes in the hearts and lives of needy children around the world, and the impact they have on those lives. As evidence of this impact, it is worth noting that Karol still has her original Poor Pitiful Pearl doll!

Karol doesn’t know how the rest of her life’s story will play out, but she is confident in knowing “…that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NKJV). As Karol and husband, Tim, recently shared the blessing of celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, she is content because she has found fulfillment and satisfaction in this current chapter of her life’s story, and in Jesus, who gives her the assurance that He is in control of her future and still remains her Forever Friend!


Karol Barkley - 1-253-565-6201 or 1-253-226-8359
D.G. Smeall, Co-Administrator of Internship Program
text message her at 1-253-549-3772 or by e-mail at

Donna will reply within 48 hours unless marked urgent, then she will respond ASAP.
Note: Donna will need the intern’s mobile number so she can set their info up in a special contacts page so she will know they are volunteers being directed specifically to her when she gets the emails or messages.

Volunteer Inquiries

Web Page: Volunteer

Office Phone

(253) 460-6711

Office Hours

Tuesday | 9:30am-6pm
Wednesday, Thursday | 9:30am-4pm
Open Saturdays by appointment only unless during Easter, Back to School, or Christmas Distributions For all other inquiries, call for appointment

Postal Address

P.O. Box 64547
Tacoma, WA 98464-0547

Street Address and
Donation Drop-off

Toy Rescue Mission
607 S. Winnifred St.
Tacoma, WA 98465
(Across from Tacoma Boys on 6th Ave)

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