Save the Children, UNICEF to Receive $12 Million from IKEA Soft Toy for Education Campaign

Save the Children, UNICEF to Receive $12 Million from IKEA Soft Toy for Education Campaign

Since 2003, Campaign Raises Nearly $74 Million, Supports More than 10 Million Children

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IKEA's annual Soft Toy for Education campaign raised $12 million in 2012. The donation will support 18 education projects carried out by UNICEF and Save the Children in 17 countries. Photo by Jeff Holt.
IKEA's annual Soft Toy for Education campaign raised $12 million in 2012. The donation will support 18 education projects carried out by UNICEF and Save the Children in 17 countries. Photo by Jeff Holt.

WESTPORT, Conn. (Feb. 8, 2013) — The IKEA Foundation along with IKEA customers and co-workers have partnered together on a $12 million donation to Save the Children and UNICEF for global education projects.

The funds were raised during IKEA's annual Soft Toy for Education campaign, which ran from Nov. 4 to Dec. 29, 2012. For each soft toy or children's book purchased, $1.30 was donated to UNICEF and Save the Children by the IKEA Foundation. In the U.S., IKEA raised more than $1 million through the sales of soft toys and children's books.

The $12 million donation will support 18 education projects carried out by UNICEF and Save the Children in 17 countries. UNICEF's share will fund the Schools for Africa initiative in eight countries and the Schools in Asia initiative in China. Save the Children's equal share will support education for children in the most marginalized groups (minorities and children with disabilities) in Asia and Eastern Europe.

"We would like to thank both the IKEA Foundation and IKEA co-workers and customers for their support of Save the Children's programs for children from minority groups and children with disabilities. We look forward to continue our work with the Soft Toys for Education campaign, together with IKEA and the IKEA Foundation next year," said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children.

The donations help UNICEF and Save the Children train teachers in child-friendly teaching methods, improve child protection systems, supply educational materials, and increase school attendance rates.

"Heartfelt thanks from UNICEF to every person who bought an IKEA soft toy, and to every co-worker who worked so hard to make the campaign a success. This year's generous donation will help us support quality education for some of the most vulnerable children in the world. The impressive support of the IKEA Foundation, millions of IKEA customers and thousands of co-workers worldwide is an excellent example of collective action that will bring positive and long-lasting change to children's lives," said Leila Pakkala, director, Private Fundraising and Partnerships, UNICEF.

Since 2003, the start of this annual campaign, the IKEA Foundation has raised nearly $74 million, which has helped improve the educational opportunities of more than 10 million children in 45 countries.

IKEA strives to be 'The Life Improvement Store,' and since its 1943 founding in Sweden, has offered home furnishings of good design and function, at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 340 IKEA stores in 40 countries, including 38 stores in the US (40 stores are owned and run by franchisees outside the IKEA Group). IKEA Stores welcomed a total of 776 million visitors last year. IKEA, the world's leading home furnishings company, incorporates sustainable efforts into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment.

The IKEA Foundation aims to improve the opportunities for children and youth by funding holistic, long-term programs that can create substantial, lasting change, and enable them to take charge of their own future. We work with strong strategic partners applying innovative approaches to achieve large-scale results in four fundamental areas of a child's life. Currently funded programs benefit an estimated 100 million children.

Save the Children is the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and 120 countries around the world. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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