In 2003, Swedish furniture giant IKEA launched the Soft Toys for Education charity program, in collaboration with UNICEF and Save the Children. The goal: to provide educational opportunities for poor children in developing countries. Since the program's launch 12 years ago, the organizations have raised over $101 million, reaching 11 million children from 46 countries. In an effort to keep up the momentum, IKEA has revealed a new line of soft toys available this season, each designed by a child as a part of the Soft Toys Drawing Competition.
Children from all over the world submitted toy designs for the contest, and 10 were chosen to have their imaginative creatures brought to life as stuffed animals. The designs range from a bat, to an armless dinosaur, to an orange unicorn. Toyland has published images of the original drawings side-by-side with the new products to show just how true IKEA stayed to the source material.
Images via IKEA
According to IKEA's press release, for every soft toy from the SAGOSKATT collection and every children's book sold between November 1 and December 26, the IKEA Foundation will donate $1.11 (approximately 1 Euro) to UNICEF and Save the Children. "This means that children are helping children to build a better future for themselves,” IKEA Sweden Product Developer Bodil Fritjofsson said in a statement. "All children should have the opportunity to go to school," added IKEA President Lars Petersson. "We continue to put our hearts into selling IKEA soft toys so that children in the most poverty stricken areas can benefit by getting a good education ... We hope our U.S. customers—and all the world—will support this program so more children will have the opportunity to continue their education and help build a brighter future."
The toys are now available on the IKEA U.S. website. Head over to IKEA to learn more about Soft Toys for Education—and to grab a few for the kid in your life.