February 10, 2010: In the wake of the devastation caused by the recent earthquake in Haiti, Youth HandsOn Network and Hasbro, Inc. have joined together to create a nationwide fundraising initiative for kids – PLAYATHON for Haiti. This effort will benefit SOS Children's Villages in purchasing "pop-up" shelters for the orphaned and vulnerable children of Haiti.
When disaster strikes it is very important that children, like all people, feel empowered to make a difference in their world. The nationwide PLAYATHON for Haiti initiative gives children and families a way to put their compassion into action. In a twist on classic fundraising tools like the walk-a-thon, PLAYATHONS are group events organized around playing with toys, games or other fun activities – participants either secure a flat pledge for playing or pledges for every 15 minutes they spend playing.
All funds raised during the PLAYATHON for Haiti initiative will benefit SOS Children's Villages, a nonprofit organization committed to the long-term care of children who can no longer grow up with their biological families. SOS Children's Villages has been operating in Haiti since 1978 and is a key part of international efforts to care for Haitian children in the aftermath of the recent disaster. In addition to providing food, medicine and clothing to Haitian children affected by the earthquake, SOS plans to immediately provide long-term "pop-up" shelters for orphans in need. 100 percent of funds raised during the PLAYATHON for Haiti will be allocated towards the purchase of these shelters which, depending on size, cost between $1,250 and $2,500. Additionally, up until March 31, 2010, the Hasbro Children's Fund will match the total amount raised through PLAYATHON for Haiti events in support of SOS Children's Villages, up to a total of $500,000.
Shelters or "pop-up" houses that will give the children of Haiti a dry, secure home.
100 percent of funds raised during the PLAYATHON for Haiti will be allocated towards the purchase of these shelters.
"In addition to providing critical shelter to the children of Haiti, this initiative is another way we can help create a new generation of philanthropists and global citizens," said Brian Goldner, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hasbro, Inc. "Something as simple as playing can teach kids about the importance of giving back and helping other children around the world."
"Youth HandsOn is committed to inspiring young people to realize their power and potential to make a difference through service," said Michelle Nunn, CEO of Points of Light Institute and Co-founder of HandsOn Network. "Together with our network of Kids Care Clubs, on-the-ground HandsOn Action Centers and young people across the nation, we are helping thousands of children take action on their compassion for the children of Haiti. Through the PLAYATHON approach, they are learning how they can help by organizing their own events to help raise money."
"SOS Children's Village is working hard to provide safe and dry shelter to Haitian children who have lost their homes and families," said Heather Paul, CEO of SOS-USA. "But it takes teamwork, and that's why we are so grateful to Youth HandsOn and Hasbro for inspiring kids nationwide to help through PLAYATHON for Haiti."
The PLAYATHON for Haiti initiative will run through the end of March, 2010. To encourage participation and make organizing efforts easier, Hasbro has created customizable templates for promoting PLAYATHON events, including instructions, flyers and pledge sheets. The documents can be downloaded from http://www.PLAYATHONforHaiti.org. All participants can use their existing games and toys and supplement with fun activities.
For updates on PLAYATHONS for Haiti all over the country and to help build the PLAYATHON for Haiti community, please visit the PLAYATHON for Haiti Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/PLAYATHONforHaiti.
For more information on PLAYATHON for Haiti or to register a team, please visit http://www.PLAYATHONforhaiti.org.
Hasbro, Inc. is a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time products and services with a rich portfolio of brands and entertainment properties that provides some of the highest quality and most recognizable play and recreational experiences in the world. As a brand-driven, consumer-focused global company, Hasbro brings to market a range of toys, games and licensed products, from traditional to high-tech and digital, under such powerful brand names as TRANSFORMERS, PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, CRANIUM and WIZARDS OF THE COAST. Come see how we inspire play through our brands at http://www.hasbro.com. (C) 2010 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Youth HandsOn Network
Youth HandsOn is the youth and education arm of HandsOn Network, mobilizes the energy, ingenuity and compassion of young people to discover their power and potential to solve real world problems through volunteerism and service learning programs that instill a lifelong commitment to community involvement. Youth HandsOn is part of the largest volunteer network in the nation, HandsOn Network, which includes more than 250 HandsOn Action Centers that reach more than 83% of the nation's population and extend to ten countries. HandsOn includes a powerful network of more than 70,000 corporate, faith and nonprofit organizations that are answering the call to serve and creating scaled impact. In 2008, the network delivered approximately 30 million hours of volunteer service valued at $615 million. For more information, visit http://handsonnetwork.org.
SOS Children's Villages
For 60 years, SOS Children's Villages has been dedicated to the long-term care and prevention of orphaned and abandoned children. Through their Children's Villages, Family Strengthening Programs, and other initiatives, SOS impacts the lives of over 1 million people each year. In 2009, SOS Children's Villages received the Save the World Award. SOS has also received numerous honors including the Mother Teresa Gold Medal, the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, and the Vietnam Friendship Medal. For more information about SOS Children's Villages, visit http://www.sos-usa.org.