Most kids haven’t exchanged heartfelt hugs with world leaders that were captured on film and then beamed around the world. But then Mari Copeny isn’t most kids. Read on for an inspiring story of girl empowerment that proves kids’ voices matter.
Mari first captured the attention of the world’s media in 2016 when – at the age of 8 - she wrote to then President Barack Obama asking him to intervene in the Flint Water Crisis where there hadn’t been clean water since April 2014.
In her home-town, in Michigan, Mari is affectionately known as Little Miss Flint because of her tireless work to represent the rights of children. The little girl’s campaigns – that, at the last count, had raised more than $250,000 - include:
Partnering with Pack Your Back.org to provide backpacks full of school supplies for more than 1,000 students
Launching a GoFundMe campaign so that several-hundred underprivileged kids and their chaperones could see the “Black Panther” and “Wrinkle in Time” movies
Organising a water drive to distribute essential supplies to Flint residents
Kick-starting a campaign - #DearFlintKids - inviting people to write to a child in Flint to tell them that, somewhere in the world, someone cares about them
Using her 11th birthday to launch a gifting drive to provide over 600 bikes and 1000 books for Flint Kids
“Kids need to see themselves as superheroes,” says Mari. “Black kids are seen as victims — and we’re not.”
Mari’s words would top the charts of inspirational quotes for kids in school. And so perhaps it’s no surprise that Mari – who is inspiring people the world over – inspired us to create “Kid Activist” in her likeness.The doll – that is sure to appeal to kids of all ages and inspire hours of creative play - is dressed in denim shorts, sneakers and a funky jacket with a bold slogan t-shirt and campaign badges. A placard and megaphone complete the set.
“We continue to be blown-away by the next generation of young people,” says Ian Harkin, our co-founder.
“They’re compassionate, collaborative and their can-do attitude gives them the ability to be change-makers on a global scale. Mari’s ten now and she aspires to be President of the USA. We have every reason to believe that she’ll do exactly that. With our toys, we want to encourage all kids – regardless of gender, ability or ethnicity - to follow all their dreams. We can’t wait to meet the next generation of scientists and activists, environmentalists and artists, sportspeople and teachers. From where we’re sitting, the future feels pretty bright!”
About Lottie Dolls:
Lottie Dolls are sold in over 30 countries worldwide. To date, over 1 million dolls have been sold.
Defying gender stereotypes, the dolls - unlike many other doll brands on the market - are based on the proportions of a real-life child rather than an adult woman. You’re never too young to say “no” to body image issues!
Many of the dolls have been inspired by real kids from all over the world. One doll - an idea inspired by an 8-year-old from Canada - even spent 264 days on the International Space Station!