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Contact: Adrienne Appell
                            Toy Industry Association
                                646.520.4863
                                aappell@toyassociation.org

Toy Industry Foundation Announces 2013 Play Connects Grant Recipients

Three U.S.-Based Children’s Charities to Each Receive $10,000 in Funding

New York, NY | October 22, 2013 – The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF), the philanthropic arm of the North American toy industry, announced today that three U.S.-based children’s charities – Community Services for Children (PA), Educare of West DuPage (IL), and Wayne Barton Study Center (FL) – have been selected to receive 2013 Play Connects grants. Each organization will be awarded $10,000 to support their ongoing work to help children in need.

Play Connects enables members of the Toy Industry Association (TIA) to nominate local child-focused non-profits in their own communities to receive TIF grant funding.  This year’s recipients were nominated by TIA members Crayola, TOMY International and Just Play, respectively. 

“Our 2013 grant recipients utilize toys and other playful resources to provide therapy and bring joy to children who are impoverished, suffering through abuse, or dealing with other traumatic life experiences,” said Jean Butler, TIF executive director. “The toy industry cares about the children in our communities and around the globe; the Play Connects program helps TIA’s members make a very positive impact in the lives of local children.”

The following are details regarding the 2013 Play Connects grant recipients:

  • Community Services for Childrennominated by Crayola, Inc.
    Community Services for Children’s Donley Family Infant Center is Pennsylvania’s only therapeutic center for abused babies and toddlers. Children who have been prenatally exposed to drugs and alcohol are provided with interventional therapy to establish healthy development. Play Connects funds will be used to emotionally, physically, and cognitively prepare young children for kindergarten in 2014.
  • Educare of West DuPagenominated by TOMY International
    Educare of West DuPage’s Aprendamos Y Jugamos program (We Learn and Play Together) benefits young, at-risk, and predominantly immigrant Latino children in West Chicago, Illinois. The Play Connects grant will sponsor training events and activities that support language development, learning, and relationship-building between fathers and their children.

  • Wayne Barton Study Centernominated by Just Play, LLC
    The Wayne Barton Study Center Barton’s Boosters program in Boca Raton, Florida offers play therapy to children between the ages of 5 and 12 who have been exposed to traumatic experiences. Thanks to Play Connects funding, the program will be able to provide more than 100 children with play therapy to cultivate empathy, develop respect, express emotion, and strengthen social skills with families and peers.

The 2013 nomination period was open from April through mid-June.  Qualified applicants are reviewed by a Committee comprised of members from the TIF Board of Trustees. Since its launch in 2011, the Play Connects program has awarded grants to 11 children’s charities from coast to coast. For more information, including details about past recipients, visit PlayConnects.ToyIndustryFoundation.org.

ABOUT TOY INDUSTRY FOUNDATION (www.toyindustryfoundation.org
While other organizations provide food, shelter and support services to children and their families, the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) sees to it that these children have toys and opportunities to play in an attempt to restore both fun and a sense of normalcy to their lives. The philanthropic arm of the North American toy industry, TIF fulfills its mission through core programs such as The Toy Bank™ and grants to organizations whose missions are in line with that of TIF. Now celebrating its 10th anniversary year, The Toy Bank receives donations of newly manufactured toys from members of the toy industry and distributes them through local charities to underserved, at-risk and homeless children throughout the United States and around the world.  The Toy Bank is administered in partnership with Kids in Distressed Situations.

ABOUT TOY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION  (www.ToyAssociation.org)
Toy Industry Association™, Inc. (TIA) is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and bringing toys and youth entertainment products to kids of all ages. TIA’s more than 600 members account for approximately 85% of the annual U.S. domestic toy market of $22B. TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety, including responsibility for the development of the first comprehensive toy safety standard. TIA members and staff continue to work with government officials, consumer groups and industry leaders on ongoing programs to ensure safe play. TIA also serves as the industry’s advocate on legislative and trade issues; enhances the image and growth of the industry by promoting toy products at its trade shows and events, in the media, and via other means; and fosters philanthropy to children via the Toy Industry Foundation and its Toy Bank.