Things That Matter

Mattel Is Supporting Children Of COVID-19 First Responders With Career Barbie Dolls

As first responders continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s no denying that the little people in their lives have been deeply affected. With their parents being called away from them, children of first responders are being forced to endure the stresses that come with parents who risk daily exposure to the disease that has already killed 298K people worldwide.

In an effort to show support for these frontlines workers and their family members, the company behind the Barbie doll (Mattel) has created a new initiative.

On Wednesday, Mattel announced that it had launched its #ThankYouHeroes Barbie program.

The new initiative will work to donate a doll to the First Responders Children’s Foundation for every career doll sold between May 14-17. The line of dolls that are part of the initiative will spotlight “everyday heroes supporting the community.” The lines feature a number of essential professions from nurses and firefighters to doctors and food service employees.

According to People, “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.”

In a press release, addressing the new dolls, the SVP and global head of Barbie and Dolls at Mattel, Lisa McKnight explained “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… 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. We want to do our part to give back and inspire today’s kids to take after these heroes one day.”

In a separate statement, Jillian Crane (the president of First Responders Children’s Foundation) explained that the program is meant to bring happiness to the children of first responders.

The program comes at “a time when [the first responders’] children are in need of a little joy in their lives,” Crane explained. “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.”

On top of all of this, Mattel is also using its resources to contribute to COVID-19 efforts.

Besides the Barbie doll program, Mattel has already produced 500,000 face shields and masks for medical professionals. They are also working to donate non-profit partners, such as Baby2Baby, Feed the Children, and UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital.

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Peruvian Woman Wins Battle Over Right To Die Request

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Peruvian Woman Wins Battle Over Right To Die Request

ANGELA PONCE/ Getty Images

No doubt about it, women have struggled more than anyone to convince the world that the right to make decisions about their bodies is theirs. Ana Estrada, a woman currently confined to her bed, knows this truth. After spending five years of attempting to convince Peruvian officials that she has what’s best for herself in mind, she has finally made a breakthrough.

Recently, Estrada was able to convince Peruvian officials to make a historic decision, regarding her own assisted death.

Euthanasia is largely illegal in the Roman Catholic country of Peru, but Estrada has been granted an exception.

Psychologist Ana Estrada, who has suffered from incurable and progressive polio since the age of 12, poses for pictures at her house in Lima, on February 15, 2020. – A Peruvian court on February 25, 2021 ordered the government to respect the wishes of Estrada to be allowed to die, a rare allowance for euthanasia in largely Catholic Latin America. (Photo by Angela PONCE / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA PONCE/AFP via Getty Images)

Euthanasia is a practice that is illegal in many countries across the globe including Peru where access to abortion and same-sex marriage are also banned. Still, Estrada made a decision for herself to commit to a five-year legal battle after she decided to end her own life “when the time comes.”

Recently, Peru’s government ruled not to appeal a court ruling which recognized her right to “a dignified death.”

“It is an individual case, but I hope it serves as a precedent,” Estrada, 44, explained to Reuters in a recent interview. “I think it is an achievement not only of mine, not only of my cause but also an achievement of law and justice in Peru.”

Estrada, who is a psychologist, has lived with the rare disease called polymyositis for three decades.

The painful disease progressively attacks her muscles and has resulted in her need to breathe with a respirator most of the time. According to NBC, a court ruling from last week granted that state health insurer EsSalud to provide “all conditions” needed for Estrada’s euthanasia. The court also ruled that the event must occur within 10 business days of the date that she decides to end her life. According to NBC, “EsSalud said a statement it would comply with the ruling and form medical commissions to develop a protocol for such cases. The court ruling also cleared anyone assisting Estrada in her death from facing charges, although local law still prohibits anyone from helping people to die.”

Estrada is the author of the blog “Ana seeks dignified death” which she began writing in 2016. In an interview with Reuters, she explained that she made the decision to end her life when she realized she was no longer able to write.

“My body is failing, but my mind and my spirit are happy,” she explained. “I want the last moment of my life to continue like this, in freedom, with peace, tranquility, and autonomy. I want to be remembered like that.”

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Racists Threatened To Call ICE On This Mexican Restaurant After They Kept Their Mask Rule

Things That Matter

Racists Threatened To Call ICE On This Mexican Restaurant After They Kept Their Mask Rule

Felix Aguilar / Getty Images

Several states across the country (mostly governed by Republican leaders) have decided to repeal their mask mandates despite their own health officials urging against such moves.

Yes, the vaccine roll out has improved under the Biden administration – with nearly 2 million people getting vaccinated each day – but that is still not enough for the United States to reach herd immunity over night.

Now, thanks to these irresponsible moves by Republican governors, Americans are left to fend for themselves against anti-makers. In fact, a Mexican restaurant in Texas that decided to keep its mask mandate for diners is now facing racist attacks with people threatening to call ICE on its workers.

Texas Mexican restaurant is facing a backlash for sticking to its mask rules.

Houston’s Picos Restaurant, a small family-owned Mexican restaurant, is facing racist threatening comments after deciding to prioritize public health amid an ongoing pandemic. Several people sent hateful messages through social media and called the restaurant, threatening to report staffers to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“It was just horrific,” co-owner Monica Richards told the Washington Post. “People don’t understand unless you’re in our business what it felt like, how hard it was to go through everything we went through during covid. For people to be negative toward us for trying to remain safe, so that this doesn’t continue to happen, just makes zero sense to us.”

Picos decided to maintain their mask mandate as the governor lifted the state-wide one.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) rescind the statewide mask mandate despite the fact that a vast majority of his state’s residents remain vulnerable to COVID-19. The governor has ignored the advice of his own public health officials who say the state should wait on lifting these mandates until their is a greater incidence of vaccination in communities.

With Abbotts order, Texas will become the largest state in the nation to no longer require masks, which has not come easily for many businesses that are navigating enforcement mask rules to protect employees and customers while facing backlash.

Experts agree that masks are among the most effective way to curb the spread of COVID-19, but they’ve also become a partisan symbol. Masks have become so symbolic that one conservative group is set to hold a mask burning party the day the order is lifted, according to the Washington Post.

Picos hasn’t been the only restaurant facing such a backlash.

In fact, another Mexican restaurant in Houston, Cantina Bar, has been the victim of similar threatening messages, while several staff have been intimidated by screaming customers who refuse to wear masks even while it was required by a state order. Another Houston Mexican restaurant, Cantina Barba, received similar intimidating messages, and staff have been bullied by some screaming customers who refused to wear masks while it was required statewide, co-owner Steven O’Sullivan said.

“This has been ongoing through covid,” co-owner Steven O’Sullivan told the Post. “We’ve had threats of calling ICE. I had one guy just stand there and berate one of my bartenders and tell her ‘you’re an absolute idiot, you don’t know what you’re doing. If you think these masks are going to save your life, you’re stupid’ blah, blah, blah. Nobody wants to deal with that stuff.”

Another employee at a separate restaurant had to get stitches after he was hit in the head with a glass by a maskless customer he approached, Houston Police said. Hopefully, the governor will still encourage his constituents to do what’s right and continue to wear masks when asked to do.

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