Skip to comments.American Girls Response (to outraged parents)
Posted on 10/27/2005 4:19:00 PM PDT by ChocChipCookie
Dear Ms. M,
Thank you for your letter expressing your disappointment with American Girl's affiliation with Girls Inc. We apologize for the delayed response and appreciate the opportunity to reply to your concerns.
American Girl has always encouraged young girls to achieve their best. The "I CAN" program is one of the many philanthropic endeavors undertaken by our company. Our goal with "I CAN" is to help millions of girls realize that they are unique, talented, and full of amazing possibilities?while reinforcing the idea that helping others achieve is also an important part of life.
Donations raised through I CAN support three distinct programs offered by Girls Inc., our 2005 benefit partner. One builds skills in math and science (Operation SMART®), another develops leadership skills (Discovery Leadership®), and a third encourages athletic skills and a collaborative spirit (Sporting Chance®). All of these aims are appropriate to our 7- to 12-year-old audience and allow us to make a significant impact on numerous girls in high-risk, underserved areas.
We are profoundly disappointed that our purely altruistic efforts have been turned into a broader political statement on issues that we, as a corporation, have no position. As with all of the thousands of nonprofit organizations we support, our singular objective is to make a meaningful and positive difference in the lives of all young girls. This is, and will always be, our priority.
We hope this information helps provide a better understanding of the situation. Please be assured that we have noted your comments, and thank you again for sharing your concerns.
American Girl® Customer Service Phone: 1-800-845-0005 or 608-831-5210 Fax: 608-828-4790 Available Monday - Sunday 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. Central Time
Original Message Follows: ------------------------ To Whom it May Concern,
I have always been impressed with the American Girl experience when I have visited Chicago, and have planned for years to purchase an American Girl doll for my daughter, when she is a little older (4 currently). I was surprised to see links to Girls, Inc. on your website today. I followed the link to this organization, and was shocked and dismayed that American Girl would be promoting this group to its target audience (I assume young girls, below about age 13 or so). The Girls, Inc. website included information about questioning sexual identity, drugs, teen pregnancy, teen sex, and much other information that I find completely inappropriate for a child or even a young girl. I applaud American Girl for it's mission to empower girls and help them reach their fullest potential, but I question whether an affiliation with this particular organization meets that end, or simply exposes young girls to information they are not equipped to handle at such a young age. I sincerely hope that American Girl reconsiders its association with Girls Inc. in light of these issues.
Thank you for your time.
Wow thanks for the heads-up. I love it when corporations say 'they have no stance'...nice.
Thousands, huh. Wherever do they find the time.
Your intial letter was fabulous - there response less than great - but in time, they may choose other organizations to support.
YOu wrote a great letter. I'm disappointed that American Girl doesn't see the error of their association with Girls, Inc. Perhaps they will reconsider after they've been hit by economic sanctions.
Impact? What kind of impact? Why don't they just give the "numerous girls" one of their high-dollar dolls? I've got four of them and for them to even think of associating themselves with this group I will never buy another But no, they want to actually assist this group into inserting themselves in young girls' lives. Wrong Wrong Wrong
We got the AG catalog recently, but no purchases from us any more--not unless AG severs its ties with Girls Inc.
I hope that enough parents learn this that American Girl can be persuaded to go down the drain they prepare for our children.
Since I already refuse to touch Esprit because of their support for what I view as foul, I won't have much trouble here, either.
What a non-answer from AG. They sure took a lot of words to say nothing.
That is not true that they didn't mean for their "good works" to get political. Gee whiz. They didn't need to sexualize their audience at all. That is political all in itself.
They could have helped the "underserved" population of little girls by delivering free dolls and books to poor communities that showed advances (Girls' Clubs, Girl Scouts, etc.) in helping educate girls. Or even given free things to girls in foster care. Those donations would have been far more meaningful.
A friend of mine was able to speak with one of the upper level managers of American Girl on the phone and gave me a blow-by-blow account of that conversation.
He didn't directly answer her questions and flip flopped around. She asked him if American Girl supported young girls getting information that was pro-lesbian, pro-abortion, etc. He said no, but that Girls Inc. did. He said AG would not sell that type of material or have it as a resource, but, again, GirlsInc does. "The two organizations are separate entities."
I have to give my friend a lot of credit for being gutsy. She told him that birds of a feather flock together, and if AG wasn't going in the same direction as GirlsInc, they'd better separate themselves now. She went on to tell him that she believed there were many, many more parents with values like hers' than those of Girls Inc.
Well, this manager/exec or whatever he was, actually told my friend to write a paper letter to their corporate headquarters and that would generate more concern on the part of their home office. Their corporate address is:
8400 Fairway Place
Middleton, WI 53562-0190
We are profoundly disappointed that our purely altruistic efforts have been turned into a broader political statement on issues that we, as a corporation, have no position.
What they are saying is: "it's not us, its you that is the problem."
As you can see, the response was not related to your letter.
8400 Fairway Place
Middleton, WI 53562-0190
I wrote a similar letter, my main objection was linking little girls (their products are aimed mainly at girls 8 and up) with a website that even MENTIONS sex, contraception, "reproductive choice" to use their euphemism etc. through the AG site. I may just be missing it but it appears to me that the link to girlsinc.org has been removed, though the organization continues to be promoted. It's not much, but a small victory nonetheless.
BTW I wanted to cry when the huge beautiful catalog arrived in the mail the other day. I immediately hid it so my girls wouldn't see it-hope my willpower holds out(I should've trashed it).
Because of the publicity this is getting it is very important that folks call and complain. This is a big, big test of the strength of the pro-life movement:
Call 1-800-845-0005 to complain.
Moral Absolutes Ping.
You may remember a couple of articles about the American Girl dolls and where its money goes. Here's a non-reponse response from the company. Apparently it doesn't bother them that their money promotes teen abortion, homosexual experimentation and similar other social ills.
Just you know!
Freepmail me if you want on/off this pinglist.
Note that these organizations helping girls are always helping them with math, science, leadership skills, and so on but never promote being a good wife and mother. Hmmm. Are those vital roles out of fashion? If girls don't aspire to be good wives and mothers, what will happen to the country?
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