Mattel Supports Children of COVID-19 First Responders with #ThankYouHeroes Barbie Doll Program
On Wednesday, the company introduced its #ThankYouHeroes Barbie program. For every career doll sold between May 14-17, they will donate a doll to the First Responders Children’s Foundation.
The line of dolls, which "spotlights everyday heroes supporting the community," features a number of essential professions, including doctors, nurses, firefighters, scientists and food service employees.
Up to 30,000 dolls will be donated to the foundation, which was established in 2002 as a way to financially support children who have lost a parent in the line of duty or are currently experiencing financial hardships, according to their website.
"As Barbie has always highlighted role models to inspire the limitless potential in the next generation, we are proud to launch a program celebrating the real-life heroes working on the front lines and supporting their families through the First Responders Children’s Foundation," Lisa McKnight, the SVP and global head of Barbie and Dolls at Mattel, said in a press release.
"We know this generation is hyper-aware of what is happening right now as they chalk sidewalks, make signs, and lean out windows to cheer each night to thank our front-line workers," McKnight continued. "We want to do our part to give back and inspire today’s kids to take after these heroes one day."
Jillian Crane, the president of First Responders Children's Foundation, said that the program comes at "a time when [the first responders'] children are in need of a little joy in their lives" and that the nation has a responsibility to support them.
"There's no doubt that first responders on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic are sacrificing so much to protect our families, and it's our responsibility as a nation to help them through this crisis by providing grants, scholarships and partnerships such as our program with Mattel that encourages consumers to support these efforts with the buy a doll, donate a doll program that benefits first responder families," Crane said in a statement.
She also noted that the foundation's partnership with Mattel marks the official launch of their Happy & Healthy Child Program, "an initiative that will support the year-round needs of first responders’ children."
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In addition to the Barbie doll program, Mattel provided an update about their own COVID-19 efforts, confirming that they had produced 500,000 face shields and masks for medial professionals to wear, and were continuing to donate toys to non-profit partners, such as Baby2Baby, Feed the Children and UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, among others.
The toy manufacturing giant also said on Wednesday they were keeping up with their toy donations at various Bright Horizons Child Care Centers, which have been offering free child care to essential workers during the pandemic.
The #ThankYouHeroes program is part of Mattel's Play It Forward platform, which is focused on getting their brands to give back to communities during times of need, and marks the second initiative that they've introduced to support and honor frontline workers.
Last month, the company released a special edition line of collectible Little People action figures with all net proceeds going to #FirstRespondersFirst, created to support first responder healthcare workers as they serve on the frontlines.
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