IKEA Raises Over $35 Million Dollars From Soft Toy Campaign

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IKEA Holiday Soft Toy Sales Support Global UNICEF And Save the Children Educational Programs. Since 2003, The Program Has Impacted Lives of 8 Million Children in Developing Countries Worldwide.

IKEA Holiday Soft Toy Sales Support Global UNICEF And Save the Children Educational Programs

No one can dispute. Every child should be given the opportunity to have a good education. It’s their future. Our future. It’s a child’s right. Yet everyday, millions of children around the world don’t have access to a quality education. It could be lack of materials, quality trained teachers, disabilities; the reasons are long and complex.

IKEA believes children are the most important people in the world. And every year, during holiday shopping time, IKEA reaches out to its customers to give back through the sale of their soft toy sales campaign titled One euro is a fortune. For every IKEA Soft Toy sold between November 1 - December 24, 1 euro (approximately $1.47 US dollar)* goes to IKEA global partners UNICEF and Save the Children to support children’s educational needs in developing areas such as Asia, Africa, China, Viet Nam and many others.

Since the program inception in 2003, IKEA has raised over $35 million US dollars globally from in-store IKEA soft toy sales (November 1 – December 24th) and contributed to improving education for approximately 8 million children in more than 30 countries. The past 2009 year campaign raised over $10 million dollars, a record high in past donations. The Soft Toy campaign is driven by the IKEA Social Initiative; a commitment to developing communities with the mission to improve children’s rights and opportunities.

“IKEA has been a key partner of UNICEF for many years, contributing to our programs to save and improve the lives of children worldwide,” said President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF Caryl Stern. “With the help of record high donations this past year, we continue to promote the rights of every child to a healthy, secure childhood and access to quality education. UNICEF is proud to have a strong corporate partner with a deep commitment to social responsibility and direct engagement with issues affecting children and we hope this important partnership stays strong for many years to come.”

Save the Children will use the 2009 donation for the following programs; in Russia to combat discrimination of disabled children, in Albania to improve learning for children at risk of exploitation and trafficking, in Vietnam to increase access to quality basic education for disadvantaged children, and in Bangladesh to improve educational services for children of indigenous groups.

“We are very grateful to IKEA for their generous support, which has enabled us to provide quality education to children living in some of the poorest, most remote communities in the world,” said Charlie MacCormack, President and CEO of Save the Children. “Through our partnership, we have been able to reach thousands of young people who would otherwise have little opportunity to learn and develop the skills they need for the future.”

Through the commitment of IKEA customers, IKEA has been able to increase its support to UNICEF and Save the Children each year, making a substantial impact on improving the education of millions of children. Additionally, IKEA remains the largest global corporate donor to UNICEF with donations exceeding $180 million dollars.

*With each purchase, between November 1 – December 24, approximately 1 euro is split between UNICEF and Save the Children’s educational programs.

About IKEA: IKEA places great value on life at home. Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings and accessories of good design and functional living solutions at prices so low that the majority of the people can afford them. Currently there are more than 300 IKEA stores in 37 countries, including 48 in North America (11 in Canada; 37 in the US). IKEA has six distribution centers in North America, with a manufacturing facility in Danville, VA. IKEA has been named to BusinessWeek’s List of The Best Global Brands (August 7, 2006) and for four consecutive years, Working Mother magazine’s annual list of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers.” IKEA was listed in March 2007, on Fast Company’s Fast 50, for its environmentally responsible products, as well as five consecutive years, Training magazine’s annual list of top companies that excel at human capital development. IKEA incorporates environmentally friendly efforts into day-to-day business and continuously supports initiatives that benefit causes such as children and the environment including UNICEF, Save the Children and American Forests. To visit the IKEA Web site, please go to http://www.IKEA-usa.com. To learn more about IKEA environmental and social responsibility action and programs, visit http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/about_ikea/index.html

About UNICEF: UNICEF has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. Working in over 150 countries, UNICEF provides children with health care, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency relief, and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States. UNICEF is at the forefront of efforts to reduce child mortality worldwide. There has been substantial progress—the annual number of under-five deaths dropped from 13 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008. But still, 24,000 children die each day from preventable causes. Our mission is to do whatever it takes to make that number zero by giving children the essentials for a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit http://www.unicefusa.org.

Save The Children: Save the Children is the leading independent organization creating lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. For more than 75 years, Save the Children has been helping children survive and thrive by improving their health, education and economic opportunities and, in times of acute crisis, mobilizing rapid life-saving assistance to help children recover from the effects of war, conflict and natural disasters. For more information, please visit http://www.savethechildren.org. Save the Children USA is a member of the International Save the Children Alliance, a global network of 29 independent Save the Children organizations working to ensure the well-being and protection of children in more than 120 countries.

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