St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The "Great" Depression & American Girl

I realize this is old news, but sometimes old news is worthy of a refresher. In this case, it saddens me to even think of it. Maybe something has changed since the American Girl teams with Girls, Inc. story surfaced in 2005. Why am I even thinking of this? Well, because I found myself pulling our "Kit" American Girl books off the shelf recently to share The Great Depression era with our children. They are just that well written and documented. We love the stories, the facts, the authentic photos of that time. It made me realize how much we have loved American Girl in this home (with one daughter), and how sad it is that they have gone and done it -- you know, say it isn't so....they've teamed with a pro-abortion organization.

But, what we own is before the fact, and for the reason, while we don't currently buy into American Girl any longer, it doesn't change that we already own and have enjoyed lots of their products in this home. With tough economic times at hand, it was such a good reminder to the children (and myself) as to what "really tough times" were as we read Kit's (fictional) but all too true life of the '30's. And Grandma is living proof of the documentation as she looks at the photos and reads the captions of that era confirming reality; she reminds us of how carefully they used things to the last drop, did without a lot, and those things that could be used over and over and over and over and over again, were. How wasteful we really have become. With costs rising for food and household items (like laundry detergent, cleansars, you name it) I'm reminded to shop more carefully and use everything more carefully and to the last drop. I've curbed my own wants (that sometimes I think (I think) are my needs, when really I can do without much of what I think I somehow must have to run my life on. Ok, coffee might be the exception :) BUT, I'm not spending big bucks on coffee, that's for sure.

So, recently I've been deeply reflecting on how to discipline ourselves more and teach our children what many learned during the era of the Great Depression. Our home, built in 1925, is a constant reminder. I can imagine the family that built this home, resided here their whole lives, getting by on this same street (dirt then), in this same home (with an old model car in the driveway). While I don't by any means feel we are destitute, I do take more care in stretching my husband's hard earned money and with the hard economic times looming, it can be a challenging spiritual and practical pursuit of discipline and sacrifice.

Ok, back to the beginning, regarding American Girl. What a shame. While doing research for this little post I answered my own question: no, nothing has changed since 2005. I found more, updated for 2008 (see this). I'm really depressed, and no pun intended. How fragile the line of respect for human life and dignity seems to be anymore that it reaches even to those levels so innocent.


Update: Oops, I posted a link in my comments, however I don't think it's working. So I'll just post the entirety of the information here:

American Girl Tries to Restore Image, Pro-Life Group Declares Victory ^ December 14, 2005

Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2005 12:22:54 PM by Diago

American Girl Tries to Restore Image, Pro-Life Group Declares Victory

To: National Desk

Contact: Ann Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League, 773-777-2900, 312-965-1030 cell,

CHICAGO, Dec. 14 /Christian Wire Service/ -- "American Girl is trying to restore its wholesome image with pro-life families," said Ann Scheidler, executive director of the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League. "Their efforts at damage control show how effective our protest and boycott have been."

"In contrast to American Girl's affiliation with pro-abortion Girls Inc, they have just launched a major ad campaign, designed to protect girls from growing up too fast," said Scheidler. "The sudden about-face is clearly a response to our boycott of American Girl during the Christmas shopping season."

The "Save Girlhood" ad campaign, the first ad campaign in the company's history, seeks to preserve girls' innocence and suggests wholesome, fun activities for girls and their parents. The campaign includes a new website,

"The 'I Can' bracelet project which funded Girls Inc. abruptly comes to an end December 26," said Scheidler. "This new 'Save Girlhood' project proves that consumers can demand integrity from a company by refusing to buy its products when it betrays its consumers' trust."

"The League's boycott and the pickets have been highly successful. We are happy that American Girl is trying to win back our confidence. But we continue to be watchful," said Scheidler.

The Pro-Life Action League called for a boycott of American Girl on November 1, to continue through the Christmas shopping season. The League held pickets at American Girl Place in Chicago on November 25 and December 3, and at American Girl Place on Fifth Avenue in New York on December 10.

American Girl began de-emphasizing the "I Can" project within days of the League's first press release decrying the link with Girls Inc. Bath and Body Works, the only other outlet for purchasing the "I Can" bracelet, quit the project in late November. The League has distributed thousands of "You have betrayed our trust" brochures.

The Pro-Life Action League is the nation's largest activist pro-life organization. For further information please see

P.S. I'm going to contact Pro-Life Action League for information on American Girl's status currently. This article does sound encouraging!


Love2Learn Mom said...

I realize that Girls Inc. is still problematic, but I thought that American Girl was no longer working with them. As far as I could tell, the article you linked to only indicates a past connection between the two companies and no indication that they are still connected. Do you have any further info?

Denise said...

Hi, thanks for your comment. I tried to find substantial evidence of AG and Girls, Inc. divorcing, but the only thing I could find was at the link that follows, and it indicates that the "I Can" bracelet sales was ending, and it does seem the boycott was successful; somehow, I'm thinking there's more and if my research turns up something more, I'll be sure to post it.

In the meantime, if anyone else can indicate that AG is not linked to any other pro-abortion organizations, I'd appreciate it. For now, we proceed with caution.

American Girl Tries to Restore Image, Pro-Life Group Declares Victory ^ | December 14, 2005