American Girl: From dolls to dollars

July 8, 2010 at 9:33 am Leave a comment

Gwen, the homeless American Girl doll

The company best known for its $95 dolls is now encouraging girls to give back to their communities.

Through American Girl’s Shine on Now program, girls can be an “Ambassador” by e-mailing away for a tool kit with ways to make a difference. And while the celestial metaphors make the instructions a little fuzzy, the intent is ultimately to have girls (and their parents) donate “clothes, books, dolls, and money” to the following four national causes: Kids in Distressed Situations(KIDS), the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions, the National Wildlife Federation, and Save the Children. Recently, Kids in Distressed Situations partnered with Cradles to Crayons, who will be the recipient of a generous donation of thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise from KIDS.

It’s hard to mask the fact that while the program will help underserved, deserving communities, the American Girl website is brimming with “clothes, dolls, and money” from which donors can choose to give. But perhaps this provides a chance for kids whose parents otherwise can’t afford AG’s books or dolls to have a few high-quality items to cherish as their own.

In related news, last September, American Girl temporarily added a new doll to their collection: Gwen Thompson, a homeless girl living out of her car and being raised by her single mother. “Gwen” sparked controversy, while the company claimed the doll existed to raise awareness and promote tolerance. Either way, the doll has been taken off the market.


Entry filed under: Child Poverty, In the News. Tags: , , , , , .

More than 1 out of 5 U.S. children live in poverty Quote of the Week

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