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Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Homeless Gwen" by Mattel

The American Girl line of dolls coveted by many American little ones, now includes a doll named Gwen (photo, a tabloid knockoff) that’s based on a character that is homeless. Created by longstanding manufacturer Mattel, Gwen has come under serious fire because, as some put it, it sends the wrong message to children playing with it, leaving aside the fact that it shamelessly capitalizes on a very painful and ever-present issue, that of homeless children, The Telegraph reports.

Gwen’s story is a tragic one: she lives with her mother in a car, after her father abandons them and they are left with no means to sustain themselves. Now, Mattel and American Girl have taken this story and this particular character and are making money off it in the most shameless manner. The homeless doll is priced at a whopping $95, which means that no homeless, little girl will ever be able to afford it, and, what’s even sadder, it’s not even used to raise some sort of awareness on the issue of homeless children, critics say.

“What message is being sent with Gwen?” said New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser. "For starters, men are bad. Fathers abandon women without cause. She’s also telling me that women are helpless." The dolls send the wrong message to children, argued Tanya Tull, president of Beyond Shelter. She said "she was afraid that they’re going to pick up the idea that it’s OK, that it’s an accepted segment of society that some children are homeless and some children are not." The Telegraph writes, summing up some of what Gwen’s critics say.

Please take a moment to donate online to Servants of the Father of Mercy Halloween StreetReach for homeless living under the bridges and in alleyways. There is a need for water sponsors, $20 - food sponsors, $125 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $50 and operation/upkeep $300. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 100s of Homeless In America we serve. Kindness and compassion in increments of $10 at -

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