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Kira Inspires Girls to Take Action to Protect Wildlife and Our Earth

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American Girl’s 2021 Girl of the Year, Kira Bailey, loves animals—ALL of them! She also understands that the wildlife she loves and our planet are inextricably linked and what impacts one, impacts the other. Through Kira, we hope that fans will discover that everyone has a part to play in taking positive action to save our planet and all its creatures.

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It's also why we've partnered with the NSW Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service Inc. (WIRES), Australia's largest wildlife rescue organization. WIRES garnered world-wide attention for their incredible work rescuing, rehabilitating and protecting animals impacted by Australia's devastating bushfires last year.

We sat down with Kyla Shelley, Chief Operating Officer at WIRES, to talk about the importance of getting involved in wildlife rescue and preservation and how it's not too late to make a difference—wherever you live!

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What is WIRES’ mission?

WIRES’ mission is to actively rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife and inspire others to do the same.

Knowing the devastating effects of the bushfires last summer in Australia, can you share specifics about how native wildlife was impacted and how your organization helped, and continues to help, rebuild from the fires and other extreme weather?

Last year's fire season was unlike any previously experienced in terms of scale and severity. Fires burned continuously for 240 days destroying millions of hectares of land, much of which was threatened species habitat, and it has been estimated that almost 3 billion animals would have been killed or displaced.

WIRES has been rescuing and caring for sick, injured and orphaned native animals 365 days a year for almost 35 years. Although tragically many animals did not survive the intensity of the fires, we were rescuing and caring for as many impacted animals as possible and we have been collaborating with leading universities and environmental organisations to work on critical projects to support habitat and species recovery.

What’s your favorite aspect of the Kira books?
What makes her story relevant to the work you do?

Our favorite aspect is Kira's passion for animals and her desire to positively impact wildlife and the environment. Wild species worldwide are facing enormous challenges, and tragically many species are genuinely at risk of extinction due to complex issues including habitat loss, natural disasters and climate change. It is not too late for us all to do more to make a difference and we can all look for ways to get more involved whether that be finding ways to restore or protect habitat, taking an injured animal they have found to a vet for treatment or leaving water out for wildlife on a hot day.

What message do you hope readers will take away from Kira?

We hope that Kira's story inspires and encourages readers to get involved in wildlife rescue, care, protection and preservation.

How can girls get involved in helping wildlife?

They can find out more about their local wildlife rescue organisations so they know who to call and what they can safely do to help if they find local native animals that are sick, injured or orphaned. They may be able to help local groups and they can also follow organisations around the world helping animals to learn more about their work. Girls can also encourage their friends and families to learn more about wildlife and look for projects they can work on together to help locally and internationally.

What are some ways people can support WIRES?

People can visit our website wires.org.au, follow us on social media or sign up to our free newsletter to find out more about our work with Australian wildlife and share that wildlife information with their community to increase wildlife awareness; and people can donate* to support our ongoing wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and recovery work.

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Through December 30, 2021, American Girl is supporting WIRES's mission to rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife by matching customer donations dollar for dollar up to a maximum of $25,000.* Customer donations can be made online using the links below, by calling toll free at 1‑800‑845‑0005 , and at American Girl stores nationwide.

$1 donation | $5 donation | $10 donation

To learn more about how American Girl is helping WIRES, visit www.americangirl.com/kira.

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Explore more of Kira’s story with Kira: Down Under and Kira's Animal Rescue by Erin Teagan. Illustrations by Millie Liu. If your girl wants to learn more about caring for the environment like Kira, check out Love the Earth by Mel Hammond.

*100% of all consumer donations received by American Girl at its retail stores and through its website between December 31, 2020 and December 30, 2021 (inclusively) in support of this project will be remitted to GlobalGiving Foundation, Inc., a US-registered 501(c)(3) public charity, entirely on behalf of WIRES, NSW Wildlife Information Rescue & Education Service Inc. In addition, during this same period, American Girl will match consumer donations dollar-for-dollar up to a total amount of $25,000 and will remit this amount directly to WIRES. The receipt we issue serves as acknowledgment of your donation to GlobalGiving Foundation, Inc. in support of WIRES. American Girl is covering the cost of any applicable donation fees so that 100% of your donation will support WIRES. The NSW Wildlife Information Rescue & Education Service Inc (WIRES) name, emblem and copyrighted materials are being used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, opinion or political position. The NSW Wildlife Information Rescue & Education Service Inc. logo is a registered trademark owned by NSW Wildlife Information Rescue & Education Service Inc. For more information about NSW Wildlife Information Rescue & Education Service Inc, please visit www.wires.org.au/.

©2021 American Girl. All American Girl marks are trademarks of American Girl.

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