By NICOLE PELLETIERE, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — American Girl’s 2021 Girl of the Year doll is Kira Bailey. The new doll, which debuted Thursday on ABC News’ Good Morning America, hopes to make a difference through wildlife protection and climate change action. Kira is a nurturing and inquisitive 10-year-old who cares deeply for animals and the environment. In her story, Kira looks after an orphaned koala joey and faces a bushfire that’s threatening her great-aunts’ wildlife sanctuary in Australia. Jamie Cygielman, general manager of American Girl, said Kira joins characters whose stories “reflect the realities of the times.””As we all witnessed the bushfires rage in Australia last year and start up again this September, and the devastating wildfires in the western United States, we knew it was important to focus Kira’s story on the major conservation and climate challenges facing our planet today — causes that are extremely important to today’s youth,” Cygielman said. “Through Kira, we hope our fans will learn that we all have a part to play in taking positive action for our planet.”American Girl is partnering with NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service, Inc. (WIRES), Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organization that cares for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. Thursday through Dec. 30, 2021, American Girl will match customer donations dollar for dollar up to $25,000. “Last year, Australia’s fire season was unlike anything previously experienced in terms of scale and severity, with fires destroying millions of hectares of land — much of which was threatened-species habitat,” said Kyla Shelley, chief operating officer for WIRES. “Wild species worldwide are facing enormous challenges — including extinction — mainly due to habitat loss, natural disasters and climate change.””Just like Kira discovers, everyone can get involved in wildlife rescue and protection, and it’s not too late to make a difference wherever you live,” she added. The Kira collection is available Dec. 31 at americangirl.com and at all American Girl retail locations nationwide. The doll’s two-book series can also be purchased through retail and online booksellers.
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