NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES, May 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Executives and employees from across the toy industry joined forces today with California legislators and local volunteers to commemorate National Foster Care Month and help children in need at the Second Annual Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and My Stuff Bags Foundation "Do Good Stuff-a-Thon." Held at the My Stuff Bags volunteer center in Westlake Village, California, more than 125 volunteers came together to fill 5,000 duffel bags with toys, toiletries, handmade blankets and other items that will be distributed to agencies across the United States that rescue abused and neglected children. Organizations such as California's Bienvenidos; Florida's Kids Central, Inc.; New York's Steuben County Department of Social Services; and Texas' A World for Children are already scheduled to receive donated bags.
On the "Do Good Stuff" assembly line, California State Senator Curren Price and State Assemblymembers Fiona Ma and Audra Strickland worked alongside volunteers from toy and youth entertainment companies such as Disney, Educational Insights, Funrise, Jakks Pacific, Mattel, Pacific Play Tents and The Piggy Story. Representatives of TIF and My Stuff Bags Foundation boards of directors, including MSB board director Michael Reagan, joined in the effort.
"We feel so good about participating in the event and are so grateful to the TIF for organizing the day," said Lisa Guili, General Manager, Educational Insights. "This is such an important cause and it feels really good to give back. It's also amazing to be able to spend the day together, both as a company and as an industry."
In addition to those present, North American toy companies such as Hasbro, iToys and Schoenhut Piano Company also donated items to include in the duffel bags.
"Toymakers love to bring the joy of play into children's lives, and it's even more fulfilling when we see smiles and hear laughter coming from kids who are entering foster care or are in similarly difficult situations," said Jean Butler, TIF executive director and vice president of membership at the Toy Industry Association. "We are thankful for the generosity of our toy companies, all the volunteers, and our My Stuff Bags partners for making this such a productive day to benefit kids in need."
The My Stuff Bags Foundation will coordinate the distribution of duffels across the nation.
"So many children rescued from terrible environments enter shelters with absolutely nothing: no special blanket or stuffed animal to distract them from their pain," said Janeen Holmes, President and CEO of My Stuff Bags. "Through this incredible day of combined efforts, and the generosity of TIF and the toy industry, thousands of these lonely children will have special 'stuff' to play with – and the tangible proof, through a My Stuff Bag, that they have not been forgotten."
The Toy Industry Foundation has made a minimum two-year commitment to provide $400,000 and 50,000 new toys to the My Stuff Bags Foundation; toys are donated via The Toy Bank™, which is generously stocked by toy industry manufacturer contributions throughout the year.
For more information on the Do Good Stuff-A-Thon, visit www.toyindustryfoundation.org.
About the Toy Industry Foundation (www.toyindustryfoundation.org)
The Toy Industry Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to bring joy, comfort, and learning to children in need through toys and play. While other organizations provide food, shelter and support services to children and their families, TIF sees to it that these children have toys and opportunities to play in an attempt to restore both fun and a sense of normalcy to their lives. The Foundation currently fulfills its mission through core programs including The Toy Bank™, public education initiatives, and grants to organizations whose missions are in line with that of the Toy Industry Foundation.
About My Stuff Bags Foundation (www.mystuffbags.org)
My Stuff Bags was launched in 1998 to address some of the immediate physical and emotional needs of children who must be rescued from abuse, neglect and abandonment. Traumatized by the events leading to their rescue, these children often enter shelters and foster care with no belongings. Each individual My Stuff duffel bag is filled by volunteers with new donated items, giving children comfort and hope and letting them know that lots of people care about them.
SOURCE Toy Industry Foundation