In August of 2005, my life was ultimately changed with the arrival of Hurricane Katrina. As a New Orleans native, it was almost unbearable as we watched helplessly from our hotel room in north Louisiana as our City was submerged in water. The months that followed were undoubtedly the hardest of my life. But, we managed to pick up the pieces, move on, and create an even better life largely because of the generosity of friends, family and even complete strangers.
My family and I were overwhelmed by the outpouring of concern, love and kindness we received. My oldest daughter was only 6 months old at the time, and thankfully does not remember a thing. However, my husband and I feel like it is very important to “pay it forward” and teach our children how to be generous, loving and kind to those in need.
While generosity is very important, as the Mom of two daughters, I want to instill strength, courage and confidence in my girls so that they may achieve their dreams and make a difference in this World. I share these values with the creators of American Girl. From the website:
“At American Girl, we celebrate girls and all that they can be. That’s why we develop products and experiences that help girls grow up in a wholesome way, while encouraging them to enjoy girlhood through fun and enchanting play.”
My oldest daughter was introduced to American Girl last year when “Santa” brought her a set of “Bitty Twins” and she has indeed been enchanted ever since. So, when I learned of American Girl’s new charitable initiative, Shine On Now, I was honored to be selected as a Parent Partner. From the press release:
“To foster a spirit of goodwill and help make the world a brighter place, American Girl is introducing Shine On Now™ — a new charitable initiative that harnesses the collective power of girls to help others in need. Through Shine On Now, American Girl is calling on girls across the country to help the company give $1 million in clothes, books, dolls, and money to the following four organizations: Kids in Distressed Situations, Save the Children U.S.A., National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions, and National Wildlife Federation.
Beginning July 13, 2010, girls can visit shineonnow.com to contribute a free ‘star’ to the effort. The goal is to collect one million stars by the end of the program on July 31, 2010. In addition, for every star a girl contributes (she can donate up to 100 each day!), her name will automatically be entered in a daily drawing to win a new My American Girl™ doll.”
Lily (with my help, of course) has already signed up as an American Girl Ambassador and downloaded the kit. She has decided that she will work to donate her stars to K.I.D.S. which helps children in need after natural disasters. I feel like this is a great way for Lily to learn about people less fortunate than she and what she can do to help.
In addition, American Girl is launching Innerstar University which is a virtual world where girls can learn to be their best in a safe and fun virtual world. Access to Innerstar University is free with each 18-inch My American Girl doll.
As mentioned above, for every star a girl contributes, her name will be entered in a daily drawing to win a new My American Girl doll. This is a new, expanded and more contemporary line of dolls! There will be even more customization options so girls can make their dolls look exactly like them!
Make sure you don’t miss a thing! Follow Shine on Now on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube!
American Girl wants to honor the girls that are making a difference in their families, schools and communities. Right here at Experimental Mommy, you can nominate a deserving girl to win her very own My American Girl doll which she will have the opportunity to fully customize! One winner will be picked from Experimental Mommy!
How to enter:
1. Nominate a deserving girl who has made a difference in her family, school, Church or community. Please describe her selflessness and acts of kindness and generosity. Please do not disclose her name in your comments.
1. Follow @agshineonnow and @BridgetteLA on Twitter and tweet this giveaway using #shineonnow. One tweet per day is allowed!
Contest ends at 11:59pm CST on July 31st. Prizes not claimed in 72 hours will be forfeited. Open to U.S. Residents only.