Toronto, ON (PRWEB) July 24, 2014
Twenty One Toys, a Canadian start-up toy company, is thrilled to partner with Spin Master Ltd., Canada’s largest children’s toy and entertainment company, to send their award-winning Empathy Toy to children and communities in need in Israel and Gaza. For the tiny start-up, it’s a rare opportunity for its design and education work to have an impact so far from home.
Spin Master Ltd. recently sent thousands of its own toys to summer camps and kibbutz community centers in southern Israel, where children and families currently seek shelter amid the hostilities. It’s the third donation program for a war-torn area launched by Spin Master in the past eight years. Local and international support has been tremendous, including but not limited to: free freight shipping of all toys by El Al Airlines, and toy distribution in Gaza by Dr. Izzaldin Abuelaish, author of “I Shall Not Hate.”
The Empathy Toy is a blindfolded puzzle game for kids and adults, designed to get players to think creatively, laugh through frustration, and help build a spirit of dialogue and understanding. “This entire experience is about caring and empathy so we see this as the perfect fit,” says Krista DiBerardino, Chief Marketing Officer, Spin Master Ltd.
“It’s easy to feel helpless watching the conflict from so far away,” says Ilana Ben-Ari, founder of Twenty One Toys and inventor of the Empathy Toy. “We thought this could be a chance, in some small way, to insert empathy into the heart of the conflict – by using fun and play to create moments of relief.” Despite a tight start-up budget, Twenty One Toys has bundled together a batch of Empathy Toys to join their partner’s shipment. Empathy Toys will be setting off this week to be hand-delivered as the conflict rages. “It’s a drop in the bucket compared to what Spin Master can deliver,” commented Gonzalo Riva, the company’s COO. “But it’s what was possible for us today, and we wanted to at least begin the effort.”
Twenty One Toys originally looked for institutional or private donors to help cover the price of gifting a larger batch of Empathy Toys, but none could move fast enough. Inspired by Spin Master’s example of giving back with its products, in future the company hopes to find consistent funding and delivery partners – to use the Empathy Toy for play-based education programming on an ongoing, long-term basis in humanitarian and conflict work.