If you’re a regular shopper at IKEA, you’re probably familiar with the Swedish home furnishing store’s limited edition soft toys. Yesterday, IKEA revealed the top 20 winners of its inaugural IKEA Soft Toys Drawing Competition in Malaysia. The 20 children who produced their creative and unique pieces will now move on to a global competition where the top 10 drawings in the world will be brought to life and will be sold worldwide at IKEA stores for 2015’s Soft Toys for Education campaign.
In the short span of two weeks, the 20 winners were selected from 500 entries. The Soft Toys Drawing Competition was held in conjunction with the IKEA Soft Toys for Education Campaign, a yearly global initiative that helps provide education for underprivileged children. For every soft toy purchased, 1 Euro (RM4.25) will be donated to UNICEF and Save the Children to improve education quality and access for children in developing countries.
“IKEA and UNICEF share the belief that educating children is the first step towards building a better world and brighter future. We value the contribution and support that Malaysians have given us through this initiative. We want to work closely with more likeminded organisations like IKEA who has been committed in helping us take our journey to the next level,” said Richard Beighton, Chief of Private Fundraising & Partnerships, UNICEF Malaysia.
“To date, Malaysia is the world’s 7th highest contributor for the total funds raised through this year’s Soft Toys for Education campaign. Clearly a mark of the nation’s generosity, we are also ahead of our neighbouring countries in the Southeast Asia region, including Thailand and Singapore,” shared IKEA Damansara Store Manager, Gerard Jansen.
Besides donating 1 Euro to UNICEF and Save the Children from the sale of every limited edition soft toy, customers are also encouraged to ‘Give Twice’ by purchasing additional IKEA soft toys or children’s books to be donated to local charity homes. At the event yesterday, the winners were given the task to select a soft toy to be donated to underprivileged children, all in the spirit of giving.
The IKEA Soft Toys for Education campaign will run throughout the Christmas gifting season until January 3rd, 2015.
Since its inception in 2003, the IKEA Soft Toys for Education campaign has raised a total of €67 million and has helped over 11 million children in 46 different countries. In the rural areas of Sabah, a portion of the funds has helped UNICEF build and equip a school that houses over 900 children.