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UNICEF and Save the Children Announce IKEA Soft Toy Campaign Launch

2011-11-01

Toronto, ON, November 1, 2001 - Today, UNICEF and Save the Children announce the beginning of the IKEA Soft Toy campaign in aid of children around the world. Between November 1st  and December 31st   IKEA will donate $1 to UNICEF and Save the Children for every soft toy sold in IKEA stores worldwide to fund programs that provide children around the world with access to education.

The goal this year is to raise more than $315,000 in Canada’s 11 IKEA stores. Globally, since 2003, the annual Soft Toy campaign has raised a total of $46 million to help children in need.

“We are happy that IKEA Canada can contribute to the good work that the IKEA Foundation does with our global partners, UNICEF and Save the Children through the Soft Toy program,” says Kerri Molinaro, President, IKEA Canada. “We have a long standing commitment to contribute positively to the communities where we do business and this includes our supplier countries.”

Not only will IKEA donate $1 for every soft toy sold, they will also donate an additional $1 for each kid’s meal sold at IKEA restaurants.  

“Achieving the goal of universal education for every child including the most vulnerable, and marginalized requires as commitment. In the past 10 years, IKEA has shown incredible dedication to goal,” says David Morley, President & CEO of UNICEF Canada. “We are grateful for the generosity of IKEA, its Foundation, customers and employees in supporting UNICEF’s work in education.”

The funds raised by the 2011 campaign will help UNICEF and Save the Children extend and begin 16 new projects benefiting children around the world. Since IKEA’s Soft Toy campaign began in 2003 donations have supported 95 programs in 45 countries helping 8 million children access quality education.

“IKEA continues to be an extraordinary partner and we are thrilled they want to expand this successful initiative. The Soft Toy campaign has had a tremendous impact improving the lives of children around the world,” says Patricia Erb, President and CEO of Save the Children Canada.

The IKEA Foundation believes all children should have access to quality education. Today 69 million children are denied this right worldwide. UNICEF and Save the Children improve education for the most disadvantaged children, recognizing investments in education lift children out of poverty and benefit future generations.  Funds raised through the 2011 Softie campaign will help purchase school supplies and improve school facilities including access to safe water and sanitary toilets. The funds will also ensure teachers are trained in the latest teaching techniques while strengthening the right to education for minority children.

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About IKEA
IKEA is a leading home furnishing retailer with 280 stores in 26 countries worldwide, which are visited by 626 million people every year. IKEA Canada has 11 stores which are visited by over 25 million people every year. Last year the ikea.com websites attracted 712 million visitors. IKEA’s business philosophy is to offer a wide range of products of good design and function at prices so low, the majority of people can afford them.

About IKEA Foundation
The IKEA Foundation believes all children should have access to quality education. Today 69 million children are denied this right worldwide. UNICEF and Save the Children improve education for the most disadvantaged children, recognizing investments in education lift children out of poverty and benefit future generations.  Funds raised through the 2011 Softie campaign will help purchase school supplies and improve school facilities including access to safe water and sanitary toilets. The funds will also ensure teachers are trained in the latest teaching techniques while strengthening the right to education for minority children.

About Save the Children 
Save the Children is the world's leading children's rights organization, with 29 national Save the Children offices and operational programs in over 120 countries. Our vision is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. We deliver immediate and lasting improvements to children's lives worldwide. For more information about Save the Children please visit: http://www.savethechildren.ca

About UNICEF 
UNICEF is the world’s leading child-focused humanitarian and development agency. Through innovative programs and advocacy work, we secure children’s rights in virtually every country. Our global reach, unparalleled influence on policymakers, and diverse partnerships make us an instrumental force in shaping a world fit for children. UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps all children, regardless of race, religion or politics. For more information please www.unicef.ca

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.