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American Girl and Hearing Loss Association of America Team Up to Raise Awareness of Hearing Loss

American Girl and Hearing Loss Association of America Team Up to Raise Awareness of Hearing Loss

American Girl has donated $25,000 to support HLAA’s educational programs–and this partnership was inspired by new Girl of the Year Joss Kendrick.


American Girl and Hearing Loss Association of America announced they are teaming up in honor of new Girl of the Year Joss Kendrick, a fierce athlete with hearing loss, on December 31. American Girl has donated $25,000 to support HLAA’s educational programs, is supporting HLAA’s Walk4Hearing with a donation of Joss dolls, and will be collecting donations for HLAA on the American Girl site and in stores through the end of 2020.

“What could be more exciting than to have an American Girl character be a role model for girls with hearing loss?” said HLAA Executive Director Barbara Kelley. “HLAA is proud to partner with American Girl to help girls know that, like Joss, they can be and do anything—an empowering message for girls with or without hearing loss. I hope girls who read Joss’s inspiring story will help create awareness about hearing loss among their friends and family.”

Joss, the 2020 Girl of the Year, has a passion for surfing and competitive cheer and wears a hearing aid. She is part of American Girl’s lineup of inspirational Girls of the Year and in particular aims to teach kids the importance of “trying new things, pushing past stereotypes, and being a team player.”



HLAA’s Walk4Hearing is in its 15th year. Walks bring families in 20 cities together to encourage hearing health and hearing protection, and American Girl’s support will shine a light on these efforts–donations will fund educational initiatives that inform families about essential resources and technologies that help people with hearing loss live life to the fullest.

There are more than 48 million Americans living with hearing loss. For more information on HLAA’s educational programs and what American Girl is doing to help, or to learn more about Joss and other Girls of the Year, visit each organization’s website.

Main Image: Barbara Kelley, HLAA Executive Director, with Ebony Anderson, store manager at the American Girl store in Tysons Corner, VA, during the launch of the 2020 Girl of the Year doll, Joss Kendrick. Courtesy Hearing Loss Association of America

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Author: Jacqueline Neber is a social journalism MA candidate at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. When she’s not reporting, you can find her petting someone else’s dog. See More

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