IKEA Canada Announces National Charitable Partnership with the Make-A-Wish
Foundation(R) of Canada

    
    Partnership will help grant wishes for room makeovers to children living
    with life-threatening medical conditions
    

BURLINGTON, ON, Sept. 30 /CNW/ - Kerri Molinaro, President of IKEA Canada announced today that the well-known furniture and home furnishings retailer will become a PLATINUM sponsor of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada. As part of IKEA Canada's Children's Support Program (CSP), IKEA stores and their 4,500 co-workers will help Make-A-Wish grant room makeover wishes to children across Canada living with life-threatening medical conditions.

"Giving back to the communities IKEA serves is the foundation of the partnership with Make-A-Wish," says Kerri Molinaro, President of IKEA Canada. "By aligning our expertise in home furnishings with Make-A-Wish's experience in making dreams come true, our organizations can make a huge difference in the lives of children and their families across Canada."

Each store will donate in-kind IKEA product to Make-A-Wish to create room makeovers in each of the markets IKEA Canada operates. In addition, IKEA co-workers will offer inspirational home furnishing expertise to create the magical room makeovers. The funding will also be used to purchase product enhancements for those children whose wishes fall outside of a room makeover, but require furniture. For example, children requesting a computer will receive a computer desk and chair from IKEA to help grant that child's wish.

The partnership will be supported by Make-A-Wish and its eight chapters coast-to-coast. Make-A-Wish will help identify wish families and work directly with each IKEA store to grant up to three makeovers per store, per year.

"We couldn't be happier to align with a well-known and trusted retailer like IKEA," said Jennifer Ritter, CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada. "Together we will be able to create hope, strength and joy for those children and families facing difficult times."

In reviewing the Children's Support Program, its purpose and how it's integrated into IKEA Canada's total sustainability positioning, IKEA Canada determined that the charitable donations program would be more impactful working with one national partner. Moving forward, the partnership with Make-A-Wish will be the cornerstone of the Children's Support program and will reinforce IKEA Canada's position as a caring community partner.

Together, Make-A-Wish and IKEA Canada hope to make a difference in the lives of wish children and their families across Canada. Both organizations see this as a first step to forming a strong community-based alliance that will help make children's wishes come true in the coming years. While this marks the pilot year for the partnership, the long term vision is to build upon the success of the program, and explore further fundraising opportunities.

For more information on IKEA Canada's sustainability program, visit www.theIKEAway.ca.

About IKEA Canada's Children's Support Program

The Children's Support Program (CSP) is part of IKEA Canada's ongoing sustainability commitment to having a positive impact on people and the environment. IKEA believes children are the most important people in the world and in 1998 launched the CSP to support children in every community where IKEA Canada operates. The national partnership with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada will continue to reinforce IKEA Canada's position as a responsible community citizen.

About IKEA

IKEA is a leading home furnishings retailer with 267 stores in 25 countries worldwide, which are visited by 590 million people every year. IKEA Canada has 11 stores which are visited by over 25 million people every year. Last year the ikea.com websites attracted 561 million visitors. Founded in 1943, IKEA's business philosophy is to offer a wide range of products of good design and function at prices so low, the majority of people can afford them. For more information on IKEA, please visit: www.ikea.ca or www.theIKEAway.ca

About the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada, through its eight regional chapters, grants the personal, special wishes of children aged 3 through 17, with life-threatening medical conditions, to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Founded after a group of individuals helped a young boy fulfill his dream of being a police officer, the Foundation is now part of the largest wish-granting organization in the world, making dreams and wishes come true for more than 225,000 children. For more information on Make-A-Wish, please visit www.makeawish.ca

SOURCE IKEA Canada

For further information: For further information: Madeleine Lowenborg-Frick, National Public Relations Manager, IKEA Canada, T: (905) 637-9440 x6378, madeleine.lowenborg-frick@ikea.com; Krista Bussey, Manager, Marketing and Communications, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Canada, (416) 224-9474 ext 223, krista.bussey@makeawish.ca


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