NEW YORK, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- To remedy the harsh reality that there are thousands of children unable to own their own toy, The Toy Bank has been launched by the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF(TM)) and its partner, Gifts In Kind International (GIKI), and supported by the North American toy industry. The year-round program allows charities serving underprivileged and at-risk children to have access to newly manufactured toys. At a special ceremony that took place at the close of the Toy Industry Association & Toy Wishes Holiday Preview, the official kickoff announcement for the hot new toys for the upcoming holiday season, children representing The Children's Health Fund, a provider of free health care services to tens of thousands of poor and low-income children across the country, were among the first recipients to receive a donation from The Toy Bank during a special ceremony. "We are proud to open the virtual doors of The Toy Bank, which is the first industry-sponsored, product philanthropy program created to serve thousands of disadvantaged children who may not have the opportunity to own a new toy. By the end of this year we will present more than 250,000 toys to boys and girls throughout North America, in hopes of bringing more joy and fun during their holiday season," said Patrick Feely, TIF chairman and president and chief executive officer of Radica Games Ltd. "We are very excited about our partnership with the Toy Industry Foundation," said Susan Corrigan, president and chief executive officer of Gifts In Kind International. "Over the next three years we are striving to bring a million toys to a million underprivileged, homeless and at-risk children who often lack the simple playthings that can make childhood and adolescence so memorable." "Toys are an important tool for the healthy development of children, but unfortunately most children living in poverty do not have access to toys," said Alan Shapiro, M.D., medical director for The Children's Health Fund's New York Programs. "The toy industry's effort to more widely distribute these toys and games via The Toy Bank should be applauded. Our patients from the South Bronx Health Center for Children and Families are extremely excited about attending this event," he added. Every child deserves the right to imagine, dream, invent and have fun through toys and play. Through The Toy Bank program, charities serving underprivileged and at-risk children can obtain newly manufactured toys, and manufacturers, retailers and distributors of toys can reach needy children all around the world. For organizations interested in signing up to receive toys, or those companies interested in donating toys, an easy-to-use online system is available at: www.thetoybank.org. About the Toy Industry Foundation In 2000, the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF(TM)) refocused its philanthropic efforts, recognizing its unique position to galvanize and leverage industry resources to make a difference in the lives of children in need. After further review, the TIF Board committed to support children who are homeless throughout America. By contributing its funds to programs such as The Power of Play and The Toy Bank, the industry is working to achieve its mission to bring joy, happiness and comfort to children through the experience of toys and play. For more information about the TIF, visit www.toy-tia.org -- click on Toy Industry Foundation. About Gifts In Kind International Gifts In Kind International (GIKI) is the world's leading charity in product philanthropy and the eighth largest charity in the United States. Leading manufacturers and retailers of all sizes rely on them to design and manage the donation process. Its network of 400-plus Gifts In Kind(R) affiliates provides non-profits access to millions of dollars annually in product and service donations, including nearly $800 million in 2002. For more information about GIKI, visit: http://www.giftsinkind.org/. About The Children's Health Fund The Children's Health Fund, founded in 1987, works to provide medical care to the nation's most medically underserved population - homeless and disadvantaged children. To date, The Children's Health Fund's national network of 16 pediatric programs has treated more than 300,000 children. More information can be found at The Children's Health Fund website at www.childrenshealthfund.org.
SOURCE Toy Industry Foundation