IKEA, UNICEF and Save the Children ask Canadians to help children around the
world gain access to education

    
    - Annual '$1 is a Fortune' holiday campaign seeks to raise funds for
    children's education globally -
    

BURLINGTON, ON, Oct. 28 /CNW/ - For many children around the world, $1 is a fortune. It can help them gain access to an education and lead to a better life. Between November 1 and December 24, 2009, IKEA Canada will donate $1 for every soft toy sold at its 11 locations to UNICEF Canada and Save the Children. As part of the IKEA Social Initiative, the funds raised through the annual '$1 is a Fortune' campaign' will help fund educational projects in more than 30 countries around the world. IKEA continues to be the largest corporate donor to both UNICEF and Save the Children globally.

"IKEA believes that children around the world should have a healthy and secure childhood, and the opportunity to receive a quality education," said Kerri Molinaro, President of IKEA Canada. "Our co-workers and customers can take pride in the fact that by purchasing soft toys here in Canada will make a real difference in communities around the world."

New this year to the '$1 is a Fortune' campaign, is Soft Toys Aid, an interactive component housed on the IKEA website, representing a cuddlier version of the famed eighties concert, 'Live Aid'. Soft Toys Aid will offer online users the opportunity to sing alongside IKEA soft toys in an attempt to create the world's biggest choir. With a simple click, users can select a soft toy character to represent them and control its dance movements to raise awareness of the program. For more information, please visit www.IKEA.ca.

The funds raised during the 2009 soft toy campaign will benefit UNICEF projects in several countries including: Albania, Bangladesh, China, Côte d'Ivoire, India, Pakistan, Russia, Sierra Leone, Vietnam and many more. The funds will also support a Save the Children project that works to promote the rights of children with disabilities living in the city of Vyborg, Russia, to a quality education.

"We are extremely proud of our continued partnership with IKEA.," said Leanne Nicolle, Director of Corporate Development, for UNICEF Canada. "This partnership is helping us in our efforts to improve access to education for children in countries around the world. We look forward to building on these programs with IKEA and making the world a better place for children everywhere."

"IKEA's partnership with Save the Children helps us provide many children around the world with a happy, healthy and secure childhood," says David Morley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Canada. "The 2009 '$1 is a Fortune' campaign will allow us to continue providing better education and health care to children around the world - and making a lasting difference to them and their communities."

Last year IKEA Canada sold more than 140,000 soft toys. These sales helped the IKEA Group globally donate $8.6 million CAD to UNICEF and Save the Children (a joint fund-raising venture). The funds helped to provide equal access and quality education in a child-friendly environment for all girls and boys. By ensuring all children have access to education, it becomes possible to build the knowledge necessary to combat disease and eradicate poverty and hunger. Since 2003, the IKEA Group has raised a total of (euro)16.7 million worldwide ($26.5 million Canadian) for children in need.

    
    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 IKEA Social Initiative
    ----------------------------
    

IKEA Social Initiative manages social involvements on a global level. The mission of IKEA Social Initiative is to improve the rights and life opportunities of the many children - fighting for children's rights to a healthy and secure childhood with access to quality education. The range of projects, with primary partners, UNICEF and Save the Children, takes a holistic approach for creating a substantial and lasting change: improving the health of mothers and children, enabling access to a quality education for children, and empowering women to create a better future for themselves and their communities. IKEA is the largest corporate donor to UNICEF and Save The Children globally. The annual '$1 is a Fortune' program is a global joint-raising venture with the IKEA Group. As a result, the transfer of funds from IKEA stores in Canada will be (euro)1 (approximately $1.50 CAD) for every soft toy sold. For more information, please visit www.IKEA.com

    
    About UNICEF
    ------------
    

UNICEF 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 HIV and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information on UNICEF, please visit: www.unicef.ca

    
    About Save the Children
    -----------------------
    

Save the Children is the world's largest independent organization for children, and works to secure and protect children's rights to food, shelter, health care, education and freedom from violence, abuse and exploitation. For more information on Save the Children, please visit: www.savethechildren.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


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