Fort Worth, TX,
11:25 AM

Mattel Donates Barbies, Toys in Memory of Athena Strand


On Thursday, Mattel, Inc. donated 2,000 Barbies, toys and infant toys to patients at Cook Children's Medical Center in memory of 7-year-old Athena Strand. She was killed in December while a package of “You Can Be Anything” Barbies was being delivered to her home. 

At the event on Thursday, patients participated in arts and crafts themed around the “You Can Be Anything” Barbies that showcase different occupations and show that children can grow up to be anything they'd like to be.

After hearing about the tragedy, Mattel contacted Varghese Summersett Injury Law Group, which is representing Athena’s mother, Maitlyn Gandy.

Maitlyn and her legal team helped a six-person group from Mattel set up Barbies and toys for the patient event. Afterward, Maitlyn interacted with the patients as they came down to select a toy, have a snack, and complete crafts that focused on the children’s future and goals. 

“This was a special event in memory of my daughter,” Maitlyn said. “I’m grateful for everyone who helped make it happen.”

Nancy Molenda, Executive Director of the Mattel Children’s Foundation, said their purpose is to empower the next generation to explore the wonder of childhood and “reach their full potential.” 

“We are honored to be part of this event and to help bring the power of play to the patients of Cook Children’s,” she said.