IKEA Soft Toy Campaign Benefiting UNICEF And Save The Children

 IKEA Orlando IKEA Soft Toy Campaign

Earlier this year IKEA announced the return of its annual ‘Soft Toys for Education’ campaign, which will run from November 10, 2013 to January 4, 2014. During this period, the IKEA Foundation will donate one euro (approximately $1.34)* to UNICEF and Save the Children to give children in developing countries access to a quality education. Launched in 2003, the campaign has impacted 10 million children in 46 countries and donations have totalled $74 million for 90 projects.

IKEA Orlando IKEA Soft Toy Campaign

Since 2003, the ‘Soft Toys for Education’ Program has Impacted Ten Million Children and Raised $74 Million!

The donations from the IKEA Soft Toys for Education Campaign will help train teachers in child-friendly teaching methods, improve child protection systems, supply educational materials like pencils, books, bags, rebuild schools and provide better water and toilet facilities; and increase school attendance rates. More than 10 million children will be educated in eliminating discrimination and stigma.

IKEA Orlando IKEA Soft Toy Campaign

Education is the most powerful and effective way to help children escape poverty. The change it can bring to a young life is immense. Education has a direct impact on well-being, from better health to increased opportunities. It gives children knowledge, skills and confidence they need to shape a better future for themselves. When a child begins and stays in school, he or she not only changes the course of their own life, but that of future generations. And that’s when small changes pave the way for bigger ones.

IKEA Orlando IKEA Soft Toy Campaign

Inspiration to read opens the door to education, which is why, every year, IKEA creates a children’s book based on IKEA soft toy characters as part of the annual Soft Toys for Education Campaign. In this year’s book, “The Princess and the Happiness,” young readers visit the fairy-tale forest and learn that happiness can be just around the corner.
Supporting Education—Together

IKEA Orlando IKEA Soft Toy Campaign

This year’s newcomers to the soft toys family are fairy tale heroes:
LUFSIG, the soft toy wolf
NOJSIG and GULLGOSSE, a princess and a king
KRULLIG, an elf
SÅNGTRAST, a fairy with a magic spell

Thanks to the unwavering commitment shown by IKEA co-workers and customers, the IKEA Foundation has donated more than $51 million to UNICEF’s education programs for children in Africa and Asia,” said Caryl Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. “IKEA’s support has enabled UNICEF to get millions of children into the classroom, provide teacher training to improve the quality of education, and help ensure children complete school.” 

“We are looking forward to our continued holiday tradition of teaming with IKEA Soft Toys for Education. The enthusiasm of IKEA staff and customers brings desperately needed education and teacher training to children in underserved parts of the world and will impact future generations,” said Carolyn Miles, President and CEO of Save the Children. “We are honored to be part of this partnership along with UNICEF, and look forward to creating lasting change for children.”

“We are incredibly proud to be part of the IKEA Soft Toy for Education campaign. The funding means we can continue our work on changing the lives of children with disabilities and children of minority groups, the most marginalized children, in Eastern Europe and South East Asia. We’re providing access to quality education for millions of children, impacting on generations to come.” Elisabeth Dahlin, Secretary General Save the Children Sweden and Chairperson Global Lead Agency for the IKEA Foundation Collaboration.

“IKEA’s soft toys bring smiles to the faces of thousands of children. But many children across the globe have few reasons to smile. They don’t have access to basic things most of us take for granted – like clean water, food or education. IKEA’s annual Soft Toys for Education campaign makes a real difference – helping thousands of new children every year get an opportunity to receive a quality education.” Per Heggenes, CEO IKEA Foundation.

IKEA Orlando IKEA Soft Toy Campaign
If you can’t tell, this guy is my favorite!!!!

Good things are Happening All Over. A small contribution can make a big difference. Here are some examples of how the IKEA Foundation donations have impacted children’s lives.Ethiopia: Education is a primary driver for Ethiopia’s development. In 2012, UNICEF’s Schools for Africa initiative helped 238,000 children – including 25,000 refugees — stay in school despite living in challenging conditions.

For an extra fun touch on your next visit to IKEA Orlando, you can play the #FindKingIKEA at @IKEAOrlando for a chance to win a $25 IKEA Gift Card!

IKEA Orlando IKEA Soft Toy Campaign

We always make sure to buy a few of these Soft Toys during the Campaign, and watch out for a huge Holiday Giveaway where you can win some of your own!

IKEA Orlando IKEA Soft Toy Campaign

Disclaimer: I bought these toys with my own money, because I wanted to make sure that I helped support a wonderful cause while spreading some Holiday Cheer!!!

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Visiting IKEA Orlando, Their Living With Children Priority, And A Great Giveaway

{Sponsored Post}

In conjunction with the release of the 2014 IKEA Catalog,  IKEA Orlando hosted a few local bloggers to take a look at their new catalog, try some of their new food options, and most importantly to learn about their long-term priority, Living with Children.

IKEA Orlando CataLove Welcome
IKEA Orlando CataLove Welcome

Now you may not exactly think about IKEA and children outside of the realm of furniture, but really IKEA Orlando is taking steps to make sure that kids know that their needs are important both in the store and at home with their products.  But IKEA’s goal with the Living with Children priority is to make sure that the long-term needs are met & relationships are fostered to make all moments count. They want to ensure that their products help this by facilitating families to make sharing tasks easier, activities more fun, to make sure time & space aren’t wasted, and to help foster causes at a young age in children.

August at IKEA Orlando is a busy time of year as students get ready to head to college, kids get ready for school, and as the IKEA Catalog are released! Over 210 million print copies of the catalog are distributed in 30 languages, all while there are 62 online versions of the catalog with another 8.5 million people downloading the IKEA App!

IKEA Orlando Store

Food at IKEA is a lot more than creative menus and Swedish Food Market items; they are really a reflection of the culture and history of Sweden.

IKEA Orlando Sample Platter of Salmon Flatbread, Leek Quiche, and Caprese Salad
IKEA Orlando Sample Platter of Salmon Flatbread, Leek Quiche, and Caprese Salad

A lot of time and care went into creating menus that feature foods that are nutritious and budget friendly! You see a lot of salmon offerings, because the fish is a large staple in the diet of Sweden. You will also notice that there are a lot of desserts featuring almonds, and that is because it is the most popular favor for sweets! It was fun to learn that a lot of the berries used in the jams sold at IKEA are hand-picked!

There has also been a new focus on providing organic and healthy meals for kids that are both delicious and nutritious.

IKEA Orlando Whole Grain Moose Patsa
IKEA Orlando Whole Grain Moose Patsa

There are tons of Special Events and Weekly Specials at the IKEA Orlando Restaurant and Swedish Food Market!

You can join the Swedish Crayfish Party on Friday, August 16, 2013.

IKEA Orlando Crayfish Party
IKEA Orlando Crayfish Party

 

Gather your friends to feast on crayfish during one of the most loved and celebrated Swedish festivals. Enjoy this all-you-can-eat buffet at IKEA!

IKEA FAMILY Member Price: $9.99 for adults; Children 12 & under $2.49
Non-Member Price: $12.99 for adult; Children 12 & under $4.99

Tickets are sold per seating and are on sale now. Ask a Restaurant co-worker for details. Seating is limited at the two seating times (2:00pm – 4:00pm and 5:00pm – 8:00pm) so don’t wait to purchase your tickets!

There are also great weekly specials!

MONDAY
IKEA FAMILY Members receive a FREE cool bag with a purchase of $25 or more in the Swedish Food Market. Reg $5.99 Must show IKEA FAMILY card for offer.

TUESDAY
Kids Eat FREE! Children 12 and under can choose from one combo meal valued at $2.99.

WEDNESDAY in the Restaurant
Feed a family for four for only $9.99! Includes two adult entrees (value $6.99 or less – beverage not included) and two kids meals (value $2.99 each).
WEDNESDAY in the Swedish Food Market
20% off ALL Salmon products in the Swedish Food Market including marinated salmon; smoked salmon, frozen; marinated and smoked salmon; salmon fillet, frozen; PASTEJ LAX, salmon spread.

THURSDAY
Roasted chicken with mashed potatoes only $1.99! Reg $3.99

FRIDAY
Fish and chips only $1.99! Reg $4.99

IKEA Orlando went out into the Orlando community and worked with families to see how they lived to best set up their showrooms and how to best feature products.

They found that families need spaces that are dynamic to the ages of their children that are budget and space friendly, and to reflect these needs they’ve created several different home scenarios in their showroom.

IKEA Orlando Young Child and Smaller Space Showroom Scenario
IKEA Orlando Young Child and Smaller Space Showroom Scenario
IKEA Orlando Teen and Tween Showroom Scenario
IKEA Orlando Teen and Tween Showroom Scenario
IKEA Orlando large family Showroom Scenario
IKEA Orlando large family Showroom Scenario
IKEA Orlando Bachelor Showroom Scenario
IKEA Orlando Bachelor Showroom Scenario

I know you may not believe me, but Zoe asks to go to IKEA all the time, and I have a feeling we’ll be going more often as they roll out some great new programs.

IKEA Orlando Living With Children Priority
IKEA Orlando Living With Children Priority
  • Småland, is a FREE supervised children’s play area. If your child is between 37″” to 54″” and potty trained, he or she is welcome to play in Småland for 30 minutes while you shop. IKEA Family members get an extra 30 minutes!
  •  Family parking spaces located at the front of the store that are super convenient!
  • Strollers for use in the store
  • Playhouses, play towers, and play area are scattered throughout the store.
  • Restrooms with baby changing facilities that are stocked with free diapers as a service to IKEA Orlando customers
  • Baby care rooms
  • Kids dining area that features high chairs, a television with kid friendly shows, play area, bottle warmers, and even free baby food!

IKEA Orlando K.A.M.P is a brand new program that they are rolling out for days where school is out. Children can attend K.A.M.P and learn all about the other countries where you can find IKEA, get a great souvenier passport, a K.A.M.P shirt to wear on their first visit, and on completion of their daily tasks they’ll also receive a free meal. Keep in mind that this is an activity that you and your children do together, and not an experience like Småland where they are dropped off.

Another great thing coming to IKEA Orlando, is a complete redesign of the Children’s area to feature an expanded offering of furniture for kids ages 8-12 and to create an atmosphere that will facilitate play dates and family fun while you’re shopping.

Our IKEA #IKEACataLove Presenters
Our IKEA #IKEACataLove Presenters

IKEA USA is on Pinterest, and they have a whole team to help celebrate your great ideas for the uses of their products and to provide creative designs that you might find useful for your family!

Also, make sure that you sign up for IKEA Family to get great special offers and extra benefits around the store!

If you haven’t been to IKEA Orlando, you should! It’s a great place to shop and get organized! A good tip for visiting the store is to try to visit during the week in the early morning to avoid the crowds, because the store does get quite busy!

And here is the really fun part! You can enter for the chance to win a $100 IKEA Gift Card! This giveaway will run until August 30, 2013, so good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I can’t finish this post without a huge thank you to SocialInfluenz for setting up this amazing opportunity!

Disclosure: Through a partnership with IKEA, I received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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