homeless-doll.jpgAmerican Girl dolls are expensive and extremely popular among girls from ages four and up.

In this year’s collection a doll named Gwen was introduced, with its own storyline portraying her as homeless.

A range of reactions to the doll, which retails for $95.00, continue to stir a controversy. The company, owned by Mattel, says the dolls “offer valuable lessons about life,” and it is “disheartened that there has been any confusion over our fictional characters.” The company adds that, while no proceeds from sales of Gwen go directly to help the homeless, it has given almost $500,000 since 2006 to HomeAid, a national nonprofit group that tries to help the homeless find housing.

(READ a report in CBS News.)

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