Soft Toys That Save the Children

As we near Christmas, we tend to have the urge to give back, but rarely do we find a way to give back WHILE doing the Christmas shopping. IKEA is helping people do that. The following is an excerpt from their 2011 Yearly Summary.

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IKEA Foundation is the charitable arm of Stichting INGKA Foundation and works towards
positive and long-term change in disadvantaged communities. The focus is on children
and four key areas of their lives: a place to call home, a healthy start in life, a quality education and a sustainable family income. Our aim is to give these children a life beyond temporary shelters, handouts, lack of education and healthcare.

The projects are many. Like the IKEA Soft Toys for Education Campaign. One euro from every soft toy, children’s book or kid’s meal sold during the 9 weeks before Christmas, is donated to UNICEF and Save the Children. In 2011 this campaign raised approx EUR 11.4 million to provide books, classrooms and teachers to nearly 2.8 million children in 20 countries.

Another example is a USD 62 million dollar donation to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). The largest private donation to UNHCR ever, it will fund expansion of the Dadaab Kambioos refugee camp in Kenya to provide for 120,000 refugee families. It will also fund a 3-year partnership between UNHCR
and IKEA Foundation to provide refugee children and families with accommodation,
life skills and economic independence. In areas from women’s empowerment and education to disease prevention and disaster relief, IKEA Foundation can be found making a difference to people all around the world.

IKEA co-workers and IKEA Group also help local communities. Like Safe Home Philadelphia which helps homeless families into a new place to live. Local IKEA co-workers help to ensure the kids have everything they need to make a fresh start. IKEA donates beds, sheets, chairs, storage, etc to help them feel at home in their new place.

Following the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan, local co-workers gave immediate aid with food, water, blankets and toys. Around 7,000 temporary homes were furnished for people made homeless by the tragedy. Other products were donated to a further 15,000 homes. An IKEA store opened in one of the worst affected areas to help the local economy and create new jobs. The co-workers of IKEA Japan have been highly praised, their support and unity being an inspiration to many people. IKEA Foundation, IKEA Group and co-workers continue to be involved with initiatives around the world whose first priority is always the rights and needs of children.  In 2011, approximately EUR 65 million has been donated to fund various projects around the world.
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Sweet deal IKEA. The other great thing is that their soft toys are super cute! So if you’re looking for a stuffed toy for a special child in your life, you might as well help save the world too 🙂

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