CHICAGO, July 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly five-hundred Chicago-area foster and underprivileged children received brand-new toys and enjoyed a fun-filled afternoon of play at a special "Play Your Part – Chicago" event hosted by the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF), National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association and CASA of Cook County. Held on Thursday, July 16 at U.S. Cellular Field, the memorable event was made possible thanks to generous toy industry volunteers, donors and sponsors from dozens of local toy companies.
Young children and teens awaiting placement in loving, permanent homes were thrilled by the toys and games they received at the event, choosing from a wide selection of playthings that included arts & crafts, dolls, books, outdoor toys, and more. The afternoon of play also included volunteer-led activities and games for the kids, and other activities such as face-painting and crafts.
In total, TIF provided more than 3,700 playthings valued at more than $50,000 to foster children served by CASA of Cook County. Kids ages 3 through teens will be gifted with the additional new toys throughout the year to help celebrate birthdays, holidays and special occasions.
"When children are removed from unsafe homes and placed in foster care, they often leave with nothing of their own. A cuddly stuffed animal, a fun family game, or a skill-building educational toy can bring them happiness and comfort as they adjust to their new lives," said Jean Butler, Executive Director of the Toy Industry Foundation. "We are so pleased to be able to provide these deserving children with the gift of play, and thank all of our toy industry donors and volunteers for making Play Your Part – Chicago such a huge success!"
The National CASA Association – whose more than 76,000 volunteers last year served over 251,000 abused and neglected children – view the TIF Play Your Part events as the perfect combination of providing vital support and awareness, while nourishing a child's need for play.
"So much of what we do involves the serious and daunting tasks of advocating for the most vulnerable children in America," said Tara Perry, Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer of the National CASA Association. "It is such an important partnership, and amazing experience, to work with the Toy Industry Foundation to bring some joy into these children's lives."
The Toy Industry Foundation and CASA for Children have distributed more than 200,000 toys to foster children since 2013. In addition, grant funds provided by the Toy Industry Foundation to CASA programs help to recruit and train needed CASA volunteers to stand up for the needs and rights of abused and neglected children.
The playthings distributed at Play Your Part – Chicago and being provided to thousands of additional local foster children were kindly donated by 22 manufacturers, retailers and distributors to TIF's Toy Bank. Event sponsors were Beverly Hills Teddy Bear, E Revolution Ventures, Fibre-Craft, LLC, Intertek Hardlines and Product Intelligence, Learning Resources, Mayfair Games, Patch Products, T.S. Shure, and TOMY.
About Toy Industry Foundation www.toyindustryfoundation.org
The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to deliver the magic of play to children in need. The Foundation currently fulfills its mission through core programs, including The Toy Bank™, and grants to organizations with like-minded missions. The first industry-wide program of its kind, The Toy Bank receives donations of newly manufactured toys from members of the toy industry and distributes them to charities that benefit underserved, at-risk and homeless children throughout the United States and around the world. To date, TIF's generous toy company donors have provided more than $119 million in toys to 18 million children in need.
About CASA for Children (the National CASA Association) www.casaforchildren.org
National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children is an organization comprising a network of more than 900 community- and state-based programs that recruit, screen, train and support citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities. The only program of its kind, CASA volunteers are empowered by the courts to provide children with one-on-one advocacy. CASA volunteers see their assigned children regularly and interview all the adults who impact their lives. Volunteer advocates offer judges the critical information they need to ensure each child's rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care, staying with the child until he/she is placed in a loving permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer is the only constant adult presence in their lives. Last year, more than 76,000 CASA/GAL volunteers advocated for over 251,000 abused and neglected children across the country.
SOURCE Toy Industry Foundation