Last Call: TIA Members Can Nominate Local Charities to Receive ‘Play Connects’ Grants

June 16, 2014 | The Toy Industry Foundation  (TIF) is reminding Toy Industry Association (TIA) member companies to consider nominating children’s charities in their local communities to apply for grants of up to $10,000 each through the Play Connects program. The 2014 Play Connects grant cycle has been extended to Monday, June 30, 2014.

TIA members exclusively can nominate a community-based charity of their choosing by completing the Nomination Form and sending it to TIF’s Marisa Medina  by next Monday’s deadline. TIF will then provide the grant application directly to the nominated charity for completion by August 4, 2014.  Qualified applications will be reviewed by the Program-Grants Committee comprised of TIF Board members, and up to three grant recipients will be chosen and announced by October of this year.

“The Play Connects program is a simple and wonderful way for TIA members to make a difference in their own communities,” said TIF manager Marisa Medina.  “We encourage all members to participate and truly make a difference in the lives of local kids!”

Since 2011, TIF has provided grants to 11 charities in support of a wide range of programs for children in need, including play therapy, educational projects, programs for children with special needs, initiatives serving children in low-income communities, and more. TIA proudly recognizes the nominating companies of grant recipients during the Toy of the Year (TOTY) awards ceremony each year.

Last year’s Play Connects grant recipients were:

  • Community Services for Children’s Donley Family Infant Center (nominated by Crayola, Inc.) is Pennsylvania’s only therapeutic center for abused babies and toddlers. Play Connects funds were used to emotionally, physically, and cognitively prepare young children for Kindergarten in 2014.
  • Educare of West DuPage (nominated by TOMY International) benefits young, at-risk, and predominantly immigrant Latino children in West Chicago, Illinois. Play Connects funds sponsored training events and engaging activities that support language development, learning, and relationship building between fathers and children.
  • Wayne Barton Study Center Barton’s Boosters program in Boca Raton, Florida (nominated by Just Play, LLC) provides play therapy to children between the ages of 5 and 12 who have been exposed to traumatic experiences. Play Connects funds enabled children to receive needed play therapy to cultivate empathy, develop respect, express emotion, and strengthen social skills with families and peers.

More information is available on the TIF website