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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