This was posted on the AG Benefit Sale Facebook today:
Hello American Girl Benefit Sale Fans and Ticket Holders, On behalf of the board of directors of Madison Children's Museum, and our staff and volunteer team of workers, we are so appreciative of your energy and enthusiasm, as well as your patience and participation. Many of you completed our online survey. Your answers have helped to guide every aspect of our decision making.
Over the past few weeks, we evaluated multiple projected scenarios that could affect our ability to carry out a successful benefit sale this year. We knew that this year was going to be a challenge, but it's become clear that logistical difficulties and uncertainties necessitate making major compromises to be able to have any kind of benefit sale at all.
We have concluded that there will be a 2020 American Girl Benefit Sale, and the sale will be ONLINE ONLY, with orders placed on Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26. All orders will be shipped to the purchaser. We are unable to offer any curbside pickup options.
This is not the benefit sale that we were planning for, nor is it the benefit sale that many of you eagerly anticipate all year long. Given the scope of the changes, we feel it is only appropriate to change our longstanding refund policy: we will offer refunds to current ticket holders.
Additionally, after careful review, we've decided that no additional tickets will be offered for this year's benefit sale.
Why are these changes necessary
Moving this year's sale to online purchase with shipping-only fulfillment has been a difficult decision, and we know this will be a disappointment to many of you. We love the energy and excitement of the warehouse sale as much as you do, and we were looking forward to seeing you this year—even if only through a car window! However, we take our responsibility to provide a safe and healthy workplace for our workers, and for our visiting patrons, very seriously. It became clear that any in-person pickup system would require many volunteers to work in close quarters for weeks. In that scenario, we could not guarantee our workers' health and safety, which is our foremost priority. Additionally, if things were to become so unstable that the planned pickup window wouldn't work, we wouldn't have the financial resources to rent and staff a space suitable for pickup for as long as would be needed. Shipping all purchases is the only way we could safely offer any kind of a benefit sale this year.
We hoped the change to online would allow us to resume selling tickets, but after taking inventory of our available product, we didn't feel we could ensure a good experience for a larger group. Nor was it fair to make thousands of people compete for a handful of additional tickets. No additional tickets will be sold.
Thank you for your understanding and support. Together, through this annual benefit sale, we truly do change the lives of hundreds of thousands of children. If you'd like to know how Madison Children's Museum continues to enrich children's lives, even as the museum is closed, please visit our website.
We are deeply grateful to American Girl/Mattel and the American Girl Fund for Children for their grace and support throughout the years, and especially this year. We are thankful for all of the volunteers who are willing to put the online sale together. And we are grateful for the benefit sale shoppers and community. Together we will get through this unusual year and see one another in person in 2021.
In these unprecedented times, this will be an unprecedented sale.
With deepest appreciation,
Deb Gilpin, President & CEO and Madison Children's Museum Board of Directors