Advocacy/ Early Childhood Education/ Special Needs
November 17, 2014

Change a Life with IKEA Soft Toys for Education Campaign

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Education. It’s something vital to all of our lives, but how often do we take for granted the blessing of getting a good education? This post is sponsored by IKEA, but really it is so much more.

As an educator, I’ve seen first hand how giving a child the chance to learn and thrive in a good environment surrounded by opportunities and people who love and support them can change their life. So when I was contacted to talk about the new IKEA Soft Toys for Education Campaign, it was a no brainer to accept. As if I didn’t love IKEA enough (IKEA is finally coming to South Korea, fyi!) with all of their awesome furniture, delicious food and endless aisles of home inspiration!

Soft Toy Image 2015_1
I’ve been blessed to work with a wide variety of kids, from the very wealthy to the extremely poor. I’ve seen firsthand how education can transform lives, bringing a child out of their shell and not just surviving, but thriving! It’s hard to believe, but there are families in the United States living in horrible conditions. Many families are living with limited resources.

During my time teaching, there is one little boy who stands out in my memory and pushes me to do my best to be an advocate for the children under my care. At just four years old, he came to my center unable to speak, use the restroom or even eat on his own! He started off unable to look at anyone or display any emotion at all. His home situation wasn’t the best, but with the support of trained teachers and hard work, he came out of his shell and blossomed. I’m so thankful he was able to enroll in our preschool program because by the time he went off to kindergarten he was potty trained, interacting with his peers and talking up a storm!

Soft Toy Image (Why) 2015_2
If he hadn’t had that opportunity to be in a quality education setting, I can’t imagine all of the problems he would have had in the future. The fact is, setting children up for success in their lives starts with giving them a good education. It 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.

Don’t all children deserve this opportunity in their lives?

For every soft toy and children’s book sold between November 9, 2014 and January 3, 2015, the IKEA Foundation will donate $1.00 to children’s education through UNICEF and Save the Children. Did you know? Last year, the IKEA Foundation raised $13.6 million (10.1 million euro) and over $1 million was raised in the US. That’s a lot of money to help a lot of children!

Soft Toy Image 2015_3
So what are you waiting for? Not only can you get affordable products at IKEA, you can chip in during this holiday season to support the IKEA Soft Toys for Education Campaign in their efforts to help UNICEF and Save the Children train teachers in child-friendly teaching methods, improve child protection systems, supply educational materials in schools, help rebuild schools, provide better water and toilet facilities, and increase school attendance rates.

If you have a child yourself, they can even participate in a contest to create their own soft toy. How cool would it be to see their design come to life?

Soft Toy Image (Why) 2015_3
You hear a lot of people talking about changing the world. Well, here is a small opportunity for you to affect the lives of children around the world in need. IKEA has helped over 11 million children through the IKEA Soft Toys for Education Campaign, and with our help this year they will help many more. We all love our children and want the best for them. Spread the love this year by giving a little extra love while shopping during the holidays and help to literally change a child’s life for the better.

See you at IKEA! 😉

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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