ATLANTA, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Cartoon Network and Best Western International are uniting in their support of UNICEF's tsunami relief and recovery, creating the "Kids Help Out Matching Program." The joint initiative seeks to empower, recognize and encourage the generosity and leadership of individual children, schools and youth groups in their efforts to assist those affected by the deadly tsunami in South Asia. As part of its "Best Western for a Better World" community service program, the world's largest hotel chain will double the amount raised by children through the "Kids Help Out Matching Program," directing its recently announced $400,000 UNICEF donation to this matching funds effort. Donations from kids (under age 18) to UNICEF tsunami relief and recovery will be matched retroactive to December 26, 2004 and will continue through March 31, 2005. Cartoon Network will air "Kids Help Out" public service announcements featuring some of the music world's top names singing "Give A Little Bit." Performers include Clay Aiken, India Arie and John Ondrasik of Five For Fighting. Children, parents and teachers can learn more about the program at http://www.kidshelpout.org . "The 'Kids Help Out Matching Program' gives children across the U.S. the opportunity to ensure a better future for their peers in South Asia -- boys and girls whose lives have been forever changed by this tragedy," said Cartoon Network's EVP and General Manager Jim Samples. "We are thrilled to join Best Western in this collaborative effort to support the incredible work of UNICEF throughout the region." "Best Western International is proud of our association with Cartoon Network and UNICEF, working together to engage and educate today's youth on the importance of helping others," said David Kong, Best Western president and CEO. "We want to encourage all children, as well as other corporations, to participate in this massive fundraising effort to make a difference in the lives of those so desperately in need." "The tsunami disaster has generated an enormous outpouring of support from young people everywhere," said Charles J. Lyons, president of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "Millions of children have taken a leadership role and demonstrated their compassion and caring for others. We greatly appreciate the commitment Cartoon Network and Best Western have made to these caring children, and to our tsunami relief efforts through the 'Kids Help Out Matching Program.'" About Cartoon Network Cartoon Network, currently seen in 87.1 million U.S. homes and 160 countries around the world, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.'s 24-hour, ad- supported cable service offering the best in animated entertainment. About Best Western International Best Western International is THE WORLD'S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN(R) with more than 4,100 hotels in 80 countries and territories. It is a membership association of independently owned and operated hotels that provides marketing, reservations and operational support to its members. Its multi- faceted community service program, "Best Western for a Better World," is dedicated to providing assistance to Best Western neighbors in cities and countries across the globe. Through financial contributions, product donations and volunteer activities, Best Western, its members, employees and guests work together throughout the year, making a difference by helping those in need. About UNICEF Founded in 1946, UNICEF helps save, protect and improve the lives of children around the world through immunization, education, health care, nutrition, clean water, and sanitation. UNICEF is non-partisan and its cooperation is free of discrimination. In everything it does, the most disadvantaged children and the countries in greatest need have priority. To make a donation or learn more about UNICEF please call 1-800-4UNICEF or go to http://www.unicefusa.org .
SOURCE Cartoon Network