LOS ANGELES, June 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Los Angeles area children facing abuse, homelessness, hunger, and other adversities received brand-new toys and games today from local toy company volunteers at a fun-filled "Play Your Part" event hosted by The Toy Foundation (TTF), the philanthropic arm of the North American toy industry, in partnership with the Dream Center, an LA-based non-profit that provides outreach to underserved communities.
"Childhood should be about enjoying the pure magic of play – but many kids facing adversities are forced to face grown-up problems at such a young age," said Jean Butler, executive director of The Toy Foundation. "It is our hope that in sharing the gift of play with them, these kids will feel comforted and know that they have not been forgotten."
More than 30 local toy companies, including Bandai, Educational Insights, Funrise, JAKKS Pacific, Mattel, Munchkin, Razor, and Wood Expressions, participated in the event — either by donating toys, sponsoring an activity station, or sending company volunteers. More than 20,000 toys were donated by generous manufacturers, retailers, and distributors to TTF's Toy Bank.
Volunteers led company-sponsored activity stations for the kids, such as Bubble Pong, build-your-own Disney character, Playfoam, giant tumbling towers, and cornhole, and saw each child's face light up with delight as they received new toys to take home, from board games, coloring craft kits, and hand-painted figurines, to puppets, safari adventure games, sports balls, and more.
Toy company volunteers also filled thousands of gift bags with brand-new playthings, which will be distributed by the Dream Center and TTF's logistics partner, World Vision, to underprivileged youth during the holiday season and to World Vision's Teacher Resource Center. The event included DJ entertainment to entertain the kids and volunteers while they worked and played.
"We love coming to the Play Your Part event every year!" said Christine Oda from Wood Expressions. It's important for us to take time out to give back to kids in need because we believe that every single child is important to the future of our society. We must always strive to do all that we can to invest in each and every one of them and their developmental growth. Thank you, Toy Foundation, for putting this event together so that we have the opportunity to show kids in need what our industry is all about."
"The Dream Center is always so grateful when we get to partner with organizations that love children as much as we do," added Merrilee Kaszacs, director of Dream Center Networks. "We are so thrilled to bless these children with fun, exciting toys as they start their summer. Thank you to everyone who put in so much work to make this event possible for the children. We love seeing them smile and play!"
The Toy Foundation works year-round with partners and international charities to bring new toys and games to children who are impoverished, at-risk, in hospitals, in military families, or otherwise in need.
The event's sponsors were Disney, Educational Insights, Funrise, GennComm, JAKKS Pacific, Mattel, Munchkin, Nickelodeon, NBCUniversal, Playmates, Thames & Kosmos, The Bandai Foundation, Women in Toys, Wood Expressions, and WowWee.
About The Toy Foundation www.toyfoundation.org
The Toy Foundation (TTF) is a 501(c)3 children's charity whose mission is to provide joy and comfort to children in need through the experience of toys and play. TTF serves children who are coping with serious illness, enduring temporary home placements in the foster care system, suffering from abuse or neglect, experiencing separation from a deployed military parent, or dealing with devastating natural disasters. To date, TTF's signature program, The Toy Bank, has provided $200 million in toys to more than 24 million children in need around the globe, thanks to its generous toy donors.
About The Dream Center www.dreamcenter.org
The Los Angeles Dream Center is a faith-based non-profit organization located in Echo Park, dedicated to transforming lives and the underserved communities in the city of Los Angeles. By offering residential and outreach programs to individuals, families and communities in the areas of homelessness, hunger, poverty, addiction, domestic violence, education, and human trafficking, the Dream Center is committed to enabling immediate and long-term transformation. The Dream Center welcomes those in need into our community completely free-of-charge with the resources, training, and support they need, regardless of faith, age, gender, orientation, nationality, or any other defining factor.
SOURCE The Toy Foundation