Shop IKEA’s Soft Toys for Education and Support Education for Kids Around the World
Oh IKEA. How do I love you? Let me count the ways!
You’ve got awesome furniture with fun-to-say names.
You’ve got free babysitting.
You’ve got free coffee.
You’ve got cheap food that’s yummy too.
You’ve got free food for kiddos on Tuesday.
You helped potty train my niece (true story – Smaland was an awesome potty training bribe).
But somehow I’ve managed to love you even more now that I know IKEA is supporting education for kids around the world with the IKEA Soft Toys for Education Campaign! Through a partnership with UNICEF and Save the Children, the IKEA Foundation has raised over 90 million dollars (yes, million!) since 2003, and has impacted more than 11 million children. This year you can help the IKEA Foundation reach even more children by purchasing a soft toy, because for each toy and book purchase IKEA will donate $1.00 toward education for children.
If you live an an average American family, you might fall into the trap of viewing education as being “normal”, when the truth is that it is a huge blessing and privilege. My family has an international college student living with us right now, and recently we were discussing the situation in her country several years ago when there was a coup d’etat. I asked if she was able to go to school and she explained that she missed several months of school because it was too dangerous to go out. My two little boys started cheering about how awesome it would be to miss that much school, but the horrified look on her face quickly stopped them. It was quite clear to her that education is the key – the way out – and that anything that stood in the way of that was no cause for celebration.
Like I said, money raised by the IKEA Soft Toys for Education Campaign has helped over 11 million children. That’s a lot of children! But honestly, it can be hard to break that down and picture an individual child. You hear a lot of people talk about how they want to “change the world”, but when you really get down to it, educating a child changes that child’s world to an extraordinary degree.
Education for girls is particularly important, allowing them in many cases to delay marriage and child bearing until they are ready. This is HUGE! It breaks the cycle of poverty that women and girls are trapped in, allowing them instead to work and provide for their families in healthy ways, all while instilling the same values in their children.
We buy gifts for our kids at this time of year because it’s a way for us to show them we love them. A stuffed toy to cuddle and hold is special to any child. But this year, why don’t you show some love to your own kids and kids around the world by purchasing that stuffed toy from IKEA. It may make the difference that truly changes their world.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.