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Toy Industry gives back this holiday season

From global charitable giving initiatives to donations in local communities, toy companies large and small have embraced the spirit of the season to give back to kids in need. Below is a selection of this year’s holiday kindness seen in the industry.

Build-A-Bear Workshop brightens lives of children in need with furry friends
In 2018, Build-A-Bear Workshop, with the help of customers, donated more than 100,000 furry friends to charities around the world, focusing their efforts on children in need in communities where Build-A-Bear Guests and associates live, work, and play. This holiday season, Build-A-Bear donated 20,000 stuffed animals to Toys for Tots, including one teddy bear for every one sold at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores from November 28 to December 4.

Goliath Games donates to local charities in need
Goliath Games donated more than 300 toys and games to local radio station Hot 93.3’s Stuff-a-Bus 2018, which benefited the Dallas, Texas-area Salvation Army. The toys will be distributed to underprivileged children in the Dallas-Fort Worth communities. In addition, the gaming company sent several pallets of toys and games to the local “Toys for Tots” warehouse in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Hasbro hosts global day of joy; donates to Toys for Tots to make the holiday season brighter for millions of families in need 

Last week, Hasbro hosted its 6th annual Global Day of Joy, where employees globally spent the day volunteering to benefit children and families in their communities. This year service projects were aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations call to end extreme poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. In addition, for every new, unwrapped toy or game donated to any Toys for Tots local campaign in the U.S. during the 2018 holiday season, Hasbro will match the donation with another toy or game, up to 1 million gifts. Hasbro is a longtime partner of Toys for Toys and has helped to deliver more than 4.5 million toys and games nationwide to deserving kids.

Jazwares Cares is making kids happy with Russ Plush animals this holiday season
On December 11, Jazwares volunteers joined Miami Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson to give out Russ Plush Toys to more than 20 patients at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in South Florida. Patients at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta were also treated to Russ Plush when Atlanta Falcon’s player Brian Poolevisited on December 4 as part of his Season of Giving program. In addition, Houston Texan’s player Kayvon Webster visited Texas Children’s Hospital on December 11 to help distribute Russ plush to sick kids.

Learning Resources gives $75,000 in toys and games to Chicago-area families in need
Educational toy company Learning Resources has donated 5,000 toys and games worth $75,000 to Toys for Tots. The products will be distributed to families at churches and shelters in the Chicago area. Learning Resources donated several popular educational toys including its Beaker Creatures Reactor Pods, Alphabet Big Book, Wild About Animals Jungle Counters Smart Packs, Under the Sea Ocean Counters Smart Packs, Classifying Cards (Tropical Forest, Desert, and Ocean), Birthday Pocket Charts, and more. Learning Resources also supported the TODAY Show’s toy drive this year with $25,000 in toy donations.

LEGO Foundation awards $100 million grant to Sesame Workshop to help children affected by Rohingya and Syrian crises
The LEGO Foundation recently awarded a $100 million grant to Sesame Workshop to ensure that young children affected by the Rohingya and Syrian crises have opportunities to learn through play and develop the skills needed for the future. Working in partnership with humanitarian organization BRAC, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and New York University’s Global TIES for Children, Sesame Workshop will reach children affected by crises in Bangladesh and the Syrian response region with early childhood and play-based learning opportunities. The $100 million grant from the LEGO Foundation will benefit some of the world’s most vulnerable children and call attention to the critical importance of learning through play to set them on a path of healthy growth and development.

Mattel’s global gift of play helps families in need
Mattel employees came together to help ensure families and children around the world can enjoy the spirit of the season. Through our Global Gift of Play initiative, Mattel employees helped wrap thousands of gifts across their campuses, volunteered in toy and food drives, supported local organizations and schools, brought holiday cheer to children battling illness, and helped deliver more than 7,000 toys to the Salvation Army to support disaster relief efforts from the California wildfires in the U.S.

MGA Entertainment gives $5 million worth of product to California burn areas & other relief efforts throughout the U.S.
MGA Entertainment, Inc. and the Marine Toys for Tots program are working together this holiday season to brighten the holidays for children affected by the fires that engulfed Northern and Southern California last month. Toys worth more than $5 million will be donated to an estimated 300,000 kids in California and in other parts of the country where disasters have hit hard right before the holidays.

Skullduggery shares toys with several foundations & charitable fundraisers
Skullduggery provided toys to a number of charitable initiatives this holiday season. The company provides toys every year for the holiday drive at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services in Los Angeles, CA. It also donates products to be used in a silent fundraising auction by Graceworks, a non-denominational, charitable foundation that provides financial support for educational, developmental, and health-related projects in India, Kenya, and other parts of the world. This year the company also donated toys to a fundraiser at Linda Vista Elementary School in Southern California.

Spin Master celebrates the season with the 8th Annual Caring & Sharing Christmas Gala in support of the children’s breakfast clubs
Spin Master Corp. and the Liberty Entertainment Group hosted the 8th annual Caring & Sharing Christmas Gala in support of the Children’s Breakfast Clubs. The event involved more than 1,000 children and teachers from the Children’s Breakfast Clubs affiliated schools in the greater Toronto area and rural Ontario. More than 200 volunteers from Spin Master helped each child select two toys – one for themselves and another to share with a friend. Following the toy selection, the children were treated to face painting, toy and game demonstrations, play areas, a bouncy castle, and a dance party, followed by a luncheon.

The Young Scientists Club donates science kits to Brooke’s Book Project
This holiday season, The Young Scientists Club donated nearly 50 science kits to Brooke’s Book Project – a grassroots initiative started by fourth grader Brooke Trevett, who was looking to give back to her upstate New York community and upon clearing out her personal library of hundreds of books, decided to use brand-new backpacks she purchased on end-of-season clearance to come up with “Brooke’s Books.” Brooke stuffs each backpack with at least five books, writing supplies, notebooks or journal pages, writing utensils, and “one extra thing to make it a little fun,” according to her Facebook page. Each Brooke’s Book bag is distributed to children in need in upstate New York with the help of the Literacy Coalition of Oswego County.

Toy companies and others within the industry are encouraged to share news about their philanthropic activities for inclusion in The Toy Association’s weekly e-newsletter, Toy News Tuesday.

Originally posted Friday, Dec. 21, 2018

Tags: toy industry, toy news