TIF Mobilizes Toy Community to Donate to Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts
September 11, 2017 | The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) is mobilizing the toy and game community to bring comfort to children affected by Hurricane Harvey. The Foundation is accepting toy and game donations, which are being distributed to a variety of Texas charities helping families dealing with the storm’s aftermath.
In just one week since the Foundation began its collection efforts, companies have donated more than 35,000 toys – all of which are already en route to Texas. This includes gracious donations from Toy Association members, members of the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA), and members of the Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Yet more toys are needed to benefit millions of families affected by the storm.
The Foundation will also collect donations for Hurricane Harvey victims from exhibitors at next month’s Fall Toy Preview in Dallas, TX. At precisely 5:01 p.m. on October 5, the day of the show’s close, TIF volunteers will sweep exhibitor booths to collect toys and games for these children. The Foundation is looking to beat last year’s collection of toys worth more than $200,000. Additionally, the proceeds from Fall Toy Preview’s opening night party will benefit several Texas chapters of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America that were destroyed in the storm.
“The Toy Bank exists to comfort children in need, particularly those who have experienced a very traumatizing event like Hurricane Harvey. These children are probably very worried about their homes, and likely had to leave their own toys and belongings behind. By providing a new toy, game or stuffed animal, we can offer these children a little bit of cheer in an otherwise very stressful time,” says Jean Butler, TIF’s executive director. “We are looking for toy companies to open their hearts and help us meet the immediate needs of these families as they start to rebuild their lives.”
Tom Neville of Hunter Products USA, a toy industry veteran and resident of Houston, shared a firsthand account of Hurricane Harvey’s damaging effects and the necessity for the toy community to help families who are suffering from “utter devastation.”
TIF is collaborating with three local organizations to distribute toys – Heroes Care, with the help of FEMA; Fort Bend Disaster Relief in Rockport, TX; and NACC Disaster Services (The National Association of Christian Churches), which will be working directly with the City of Houston to provide goods to families who are being moved from shelters to hotels.
In the coming weeks and months, the Foundation will be working with additional organizations to distribute toys and games to hurricane-affected families who are rebuilding their homes.
Toy companies, retailers, and others in the community who wish to join these crucial efforts are encouraged to fill out a product donation form and send it to The Toy Bank.