IKEA - USA

Life Improvement Challenge

The Life Improvement Challenge
At IKEA we want to play our part in creating a better life for the people and communities touched by our business. While we work on a global level to improve the lives of people in developing countries, we also want to be a good neighbor in our local communities. The Life Improvement Co-worker Challenge is one way we're making a difference closer to home.

The Challenge gives IKEA US co-workers the opportunity to nominate a local charity to win an IKEA makeover of a space that helps to improve the lives of others in the local community. Co-workers and customers vote for their favorite charity, and the winner receives an IKEA makeover to help them in the important work they do to improve the lives of others in the local community.

Through the Life Improvement Challenge we have:
• Furnished a safe house for homeless women and children in Burbank, CA
• Provided beds and desks to kids in need in Costa Mesa, CA
• Furnished a drop-in center that provides shelter for homeless LGBT in Orlando, FL
• Helped dream rooms become a reality for chronically ill kids coming home from the hospital in Tempe, AZ.

Since 2011, over 120 local charities have received over $1.4 million in IKEA products, design expertise, and manpower.

Click here to learn more about how we're making a difference closer to home.
PRIOR PROJECTS: 2011 | 2012 | 2013
Life Improvement Challenge
2011
The Life Improvement Challenge began in 2011 with 61 submissions of local charitable projects from IKEA co-workers. That year, four stores had the opportunity to win a budget to complete a project in the local community. In the first year, only IKEA co-workers voted for their favorite projects, and winning stores were:
• IKEA Draper, UT remodeled the Children’s Playroom and the lounge area for The Road Home homeless shelter.
• IKEA Orlando, FL gave their winning charity, Parramore Kidz Zone (PKZ), newly furnished study rooms, a reading area, work areas, and a place for the kids to hang-out with friends. PKZ aims to reduce juvenile crime, teen pregnancy, and high school drop-out rates in Orlando's highest poverty, highest crime neighborhood.
• IKEA New Haven, CT revitalized Life Haven (pictured right), which is a shelter for homeless pregnant women and women with young children. They redesigned their key common areas: the dining room, the computer lab and library, and their donation storage area.
• IKEA Costa Mesa, CA completed a project with the Santa Ana Volunteer Youth service club to help students with low-income families. They donated IKEA spring mattresses, pillows and sheets, plus a desk along with a desk chair to 21 students.
IKEA coworkers and volunteers
IKEA New Haven at the ribbon cutting for their project at Life Haven.
Dining room before
Before
Dining room after
After
Before
Before
After
After
PRIOR PROJECTS: 2011 | 2012 | 2013
Life Improvement Challenge
2012
In 2012, all retail locations were given an opportunity to complete a project for a non-profit in their community. Co-workers really rose to the challenge and submitted 84 local charities to receive an IKEA makeover. That year both IKEA co-workers and customers voted for their favorite projects and by year’s end a total of 37 projects were completed. Here are just a few of them:
• IKEA Long Island, NY completed a makeover with the Family and Children’s Association, providing homeless youth and foster children in shelter with a new kitchen and remodeled bedrooms.
• IKEA Carson, CA with the Department of Children and Family Services Long Beach, remodeling the children’s waiting room to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for the young kids.
• IKEA Bloomington, MN (pictured below) completed a makeover at The Bridge for Youth, a non-profit organizations dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming place for homeless youth ages 10-17 in the Twin Cities who have no one to turn to, and nowhere to go.
IKEA coworkers and volunteers
IKEA Dallas, TX (above) donated IKEA Family backpacks and school supplies to Frisco Family Services who provide back-to-school packages to students whose parents are struggling financially.
IKEA Bloomington Dining room before
IKEA Bloomington Before
IKEA Bloomington Dining room after
IKEA Bloomington After
Round Rock putting together bookcase
IKEA Bloomington Before
IKEA Bloomington After
IKEA Bloomington After
PRIOR PROJECTS: 2011 | 2012 | 2013
Life Improvement Challenge
2013
Once again in 2013, all retail locations were given the opportunity to complete a project for a non-profit in their local community. Co-workers across the US submitted 82 local charities to receive an IKEA makeover. IKEA co-workers and customers once again voted for their favorite projects, and a total to 39 projects were completed.
• IKEA Charlotte, NC partnered with Victory Junction, which enriches the lives of children with serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun and empowering, at no cost to children or their families. The camp counselors living quarters received the makeover and a new refrigerator for the kids’ medications, linens, and light bulbs were also donated.
• IKEA Round Rock, TX (pictured below) redesigned the conference room at Any Baby Can – an organization serving families with children facing serious health or developmental challenges - providing an inspirational space for community classes and meetings. They also created a new childcare area that allows staff to engage and teach children while their parents are taking classes.
• IKEA Stoughton, MA refurnished living spaces at DOVE (Domestic Violence Ended), an organization that is committed to partnering with diverse communities, families, and individuals impacted by domestic violence. IKEA Stoughton co-workers made welcoming, safe places for residents to get the help they need to recover from domestic violence.
IKEA Conshohocken coworker
IKEA Conshohocken, PA (above) provided home furnishings for the office and farming apprentice residence at Pennypack Farm and Education Center (PFEC). PFEC works with children, families, community groups, environmental, and educational institutions to encourage awareness and the creation of sustainable local food systems by offering educational programs and a community supported agriculture demonstration project.
Play area before
Round Rock, TX: Before
Play area after
Round Rock, TX: After
Round Rock putting together bookcase
Volunteers putting together bookcase
Round Rock Kids in Play Room
Round Rock Kids in Play Room
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