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(Conshohocken, PA – January 24,2011) Thanks to great global IKEA customer support and purchases, the IKEA Foundation has raised and donated over $15 million to UNICEF and Save the Children projects to extend and start new children’s educational programs in developing countries.

The IKEA Foundation, the charitable function of IKEA, is donating 1 euro (approximately $1.34 US) for each of the record 8.6 million soft toys and children’s books sold in over 300 IKEA stores worldwide from November 1, 2010 to December 24, 2010, as well as 1 euro ($1.34) for every Children’s IKEA product and a special Soft Toy Kids’ Meal sold during the final week of the 2010 campaign. Since 2003, the annual Soft Toy campaign has enabled donations of over $47 million, which has supported and helped eight million children in almost 40 countries worldwide.

The IKEA Foundation believes all children should have access to a quality education. Thanks to this donation, UNICEF and Save the Children can extend current projects and start new ones in 22 countries including Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. The projects contribute to better water and toilet facilities in schools, improve access to education for minority children, provide educational supplies and train teachers in child-friendly teaching techniques.

“We are very grateful for the support that IKEA customers continue to give to raise funds that will help children worldwide realize their fundamental right to an education” said Leila Pakkala, UNICEF Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships.

“We would like to thank all the IKEA customers who joined the campaign. Thanks to them and the efforts of IKEA co-workers all over the world, many children will be able to go to school and get an education. We are deeply grateful to them for joining us and the IKEA Foundation in the fight for the actualization of children’s rights to a healthy, secure childhood and a quality education,” says Elisabeth Dahlin, Chairman of the Save the Children – the IKEA Foundation Collaboration Steering Committee and Secretary General, Save the Children Sweden.

In addition to these UNICEF and Save the Children projects, several local charitable causes were supported. Over 10 IKEA retail countries, which included the US, organized local “give twice” activities, where customers gave away nearly 40,000 purchased soft toys to local children hospitals, children crisis centers and institutions.

Contact: Mona Astra Liss, IKEA Corporate PR ~ 610.834.0180 ext. 5852 ~ Hi-resolution jpegs available upon request

Click here for more information on the soft toy movement.

About IKEA:
IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings company, was founded in 1943 in Sweden. Since then, IKEA has offered home furnishings and accessories of great design and quality with functional living solutions at everyday low prices. Currently there are more than 300 IKEA stores in 37 countries, including 49 in North America (11 in Canada; 37 in the US; 1 in the Dominican Republic). IKEA has six distribution centers in North America, with a manufacturing facility in Danville, VA. IKEA has been named to Business Week’s List of The Best Global Brands (August 7, 2006) for four consecutive years and Business Week’s List of the Top 2009 Twenty Best Companies for Leadership (February 2010). TIME Magazine (May 2009) listed IKEA as one of the top 8 most global eco conscious companies. Greenopia (Dec.2010) listed IKEA as the only larger retailer with a perfect ‘sustainability’ score. IKEA incorporates environmentally friendly efforts into day-to-day business and continuously supports initiatives that benefit causes such as children and the environment including UNICEF, Save the Children and American Forests. To visit the IKEA Web site, please go to and also learn more about IKEA environmental and social responsibility actions and programs. Also visit

About the IKEA FoundationThe IKEA Foundation aims to improve the opportunities for children and youth by funding holistic, long-term programmes that can create substantial, lasting change, and enable them to take charge of their own future.
We work with strong strategic partners applying innovative approaches to achieve large-scale results in four fundamental areas of a child’s life. Currently funded programmes benefit an estimated 100 million children. Learn more at

About Save the ChildrenSave the Children is the world’s leading independent organization for children. 29 national organizations are working together to deliver programmes in more than 120 countries around the world Save the Children’s vision is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. Save the Children’s mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives. For more information, please visit

About UNICEFUNICEF, the United Nation’s Children Fund, is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information, please visit