July 1, 2010

Star Power

American Girl, a store dedicated to girls and the dolls they love, has launched a new charity campaign called Shine On Now, inviting girls everywhere to team up to raise $1 million in clothes, books, dolls and money for four separate charities (Kids in Distressed Situations, National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions, National Wildlife Federation, and Save the Children).

Well, it's not actually asking girls to donate $1 million worth of these items; the goal is to collect one million stars (the virtual kind) from www.shineonnow.com by the end of the program - American Girl will pay out $1 million of products once the star count hits seven figures.

You can also download a pretty comprehensive little toolkit, which includes sign-up sheets for friends and family, save-the-date cards, fundraising and donation tips, and information about each of the charities.

Once you've registered to be an American Girl Ambassador, you create a list of friends and family who you'd like to tell about the program. Next, you’ll hand out save-the-date cards to remind them what the program is all about and when they can start taking action. Finally, you and your friends can start donating stars – up to 100 each day – beginning July 15.

It's all a huge marketing ploy, of course, but it's a generous one. I say the ends justify the means.

You’ve only got until July 31 (no pressure), so start star gazing.

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