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I grew up with American Girl dolls. I used to collect them as a kid – mostly the historical ones. But since growing up, there been a noticeable increase in the amount of American Girl dolls that have been created. And now the company has been inspired by the pandemic. American Girl is creating five different special edition dolls that celebrate the essential and frontline workers.

The different dolls are created to resemble a paramedic, a pilot, a teacher, a grocery store worker, and a caregiver. The dolls picked were from the “Heroes with Heart” contest winners. This contest was held to have children across the country nominate the front-line workers or other essential workers that they may have in their lives. American Girl, the doll company owned by Mattel, would then be picking five winners and turning them into custom America Girl dolls. Additionally, the children whose nominations were chosen would also be winning a $200 American Girl gift card.

One of the chosen winners was an EMT from Richmond, Virginia, named April O’Quinn. She was nominated by her niece after April contracted COVID-19 while at her job in March. She spent a month recuperating from her illness. When she heard her niece had nominated her, she was touched but also worried that her niece, Lacey, would be disappointed if she wasn’t chosen. And according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch both April and Lacey’s mom started creating a custom doll for Lacey in hopes of averting disappointment. But then Lacey had some big news to share – they had won! April was shocked. But she was thrilled with the results. And April shared with her local news station WTVR that she was even more pleased that the contest was focusing on the heroes of the pandemic who had been putting a lot of themselves on the line to help others.

April gave her custom doll to Lacey. She was happy to be part of something that showed young girls that women can also be just as vital to emergency medical services as men.

According to CNN, the “Heroes with Heart” contest meant that American Girl received more than 1,000 competition entries. Of the many, many entries, the other four that were chosen included a 17-year-old grocery store worker with asthma, Xavier. He was nominated by his sister. There was Sarah, a nurse assistant nominated by her granddaughter. A teacher named Pam who was nominated by her students. And finally, Laurent, a pilot who was nominated by his daughter.

While the five winning dolls aren’t available for purchase, there is the “American Girl #ThankYouHeroes Scrubs” that you can buy for $24. Each pair of scrubs comes with a top and pants, as well as a fabric mask and plastic slip-on shoes. There is also a charitable side to purchasing the scrubs as each pair purchased means that American Girl will donate a doll activity book to the First Responders Children’s Foundation.

Additionally, American Girl shared a video that was a how-to guide to creating a small cloth mask using just fabric and hair ties.

There have been other Mattel products and lines that have recently been focusing on creating special editions of first responders – some of these include Barbie, Little People, and Fisher-Price. In times like these, it is wonderful to know that companies are not forgetting about those workers that are keeping our society running.