To get incredible toys from Hape, Safari Ltd., Schoenhut Piano Company, and Magicforest Ltd. straight into the hands of needy kids, Diana Nelson of Kazoo Toys in Denver timed her donations with events her charities had already planned.
The first giveaway was a giant birthday-themed bash organized by a fraternity and sorority at the University of Denver for Starlight Kids, an organization that services children with serious illnesses. The college kids had chosen a birthday party theme because Starlight informed them that the children they work with often miss their friends' birthday parties because of hospital visits, reported Kristen Leigh Painter of The Denver Post on April 29. Carnival games, face painting, and beautiful wrapped high-quality guitars, pianos, balance games, toy trucks, aprons, musical instrument sets, aquatic figurines and play sets from the donors made the event memorable for all of the families who participated.
On May 1, Kazoo's donations found their way to the Ronald McDonald House, which "partnered with a local restaurant to cook a huge dinner for all the children and the families that are current tenants of the home while the children are in chemotherapy and Children’s Hospital, explained Diana. "The toys from Hape, Safari, Schoenhut and Magicforest will be an added surprise to their gourmet dinner tonight for all the families involved."
The Hape aprons were especially well themed for the dinner event.
"The kids were so excited to get a brand new toy! It must have felt just like Christmas to them," raved Jonna Brusak, Special Events Coordinator for Ronald McDonald House Charites of Denver.
Photos from the Giveaway (click an image to view full size)
Ronald McDonald House Dinner:
Starlight Kids Birthday Party:
Summing up, Diana said, "The events were a huge success with smiling and happy children all around!" The photos speak for themselves. Here are the toys that the children of the Starlight Foundation and Ronald McDonald House received: (Retailers! Compete for the next round of TDmonthly's "2012: A Year of Charity!" See details below toys)
Detailed replicas of tropical marine life and a realistic coral reef surround this young diver with a wild underwater adventure. Exquisite sculpting and attention to detail make this the ideal gift for any child. The packaging features educational information in 5 languages on the back. All Safari Ltd.® products are phthalate and lead free and safety tested to safeguard children’s health. We take pride in the quality, innovation and design that have characterized our products for over 3 generations. Flippers, Fins & Fun Gift Set Includes: Dolphin, Sea Turtle, Queen Triggerfish, Grouper, Coral Reef, and Freddie the Free Diver. Box Size: 11” W x 4.75” H x 4” D (28 x 12 x 10 cm)
Join all the fun down on the ranch with our attractive accessories that complement the Safari Ltd.® Farm collection. Complete with fences, hay, entrance gate and a water trough, this set makes a perfect companion with our Down on the Farm Barn & Stable in addition to our Safari Ltd.® Farm animals. Children can let their imagination roam as they simulate life on a ranch. All our products are phthalate-free and thoroughly safety tested to safeguard your child's health. Safari Ltd.® takes pride in providing breathtaking, innovative and value priced replicas for now over three generations.
Schoenhut ® Piano Company: "Leader in the World of Toy Pianos since 1872" Schoenhut’s® bright red, 18-key tabletop is the perfect choice for a toddlers first piano. Both fun and educational, it is an ideal instrument to use for developing eye-hand coordination and encouraging musical creativity.
Chromatically tuned, the lovely chime-like notes are produced by little hammers striking precision-ground, German steel music rods (versus the conventional taut wires used in full-sized models).
Schoenhut’s® patented Learning System, with its play-by-color teaching method, makes playing simple and fun. A removable color strip fits behind the keys to guide small fingers from chord to chord. The chart also works on adult keyboards, since keys on Schoenhut® toy pianos are of corresponding width. This teaches children proper "finger stretch" from the very beginning. The accompanying Songbook contains a collection of familiar tunes. This Learning System has been specially designed to build a child’s confidence and develop basic playing skills.
Imported / Materials: hardwood and hardboard / Recommended age: Three and up
This versatile 25-key piano measures 17" x 12" x 12" and is designed to grow with a child. The main unit, decorated with a whimsical animal's head, sits safely and squarely on the floor within easy reach of a toddler's hands. Later on, the sides with the animal's body can be attached, raising the piano to a comfortable height for an older child seated at the bench. The spacing between the keys is the same as that of a full-sized model, teaching proper finger placement and affording an easier transition to a large piano.
This Schoenhut 30-inch Acoustic Guitar is a unique introduction to playing for the aspiring young musician. It offers not only great sound and playability, but an affordable price which is attractive to many first-time players seeking a "better-than-average" beginner guitar.
Schoenhut's miniature version of a baby grand piano is designed to encourage a child to play and develop a love of music. Elegant in appearance with graceful spindle legs, yet extremely durable and sturdy, it makes a beautiful addition to any home. Lovely chime-like tones are produced by small hammers striking metal rods, the sound that makes Schoenhut toy pianos unique. The two-and one-half-octave span of full-width keys provides a good foundation for the transition to a larger model. Includes: Schoenhut's Learning System and bench. Awards: 2013 TDmonthly Seal of Approval
String-Along Shapes are first toys that encourage coordination, dexterity, imagination, and simple problem solving. This brightly colored set of 30 maple shapes includes two strings that turn blocks into a train, a caterpillar or a tower. The possibilities are endless and so is the fun. Shapes are approximately 1.25' wide each.
Everything tastes better when you've got the right accessories. These safe and simple toys revolve around food and cooking, to promote realistic role play, and encourage healthy eating. The Apron Set includes an elasticized chef's hat, quilted oven mitt and bright orange-trimmed apron. The mitt and apron fabric is exclusive to Hape.
Music is a wonderful opportunity for little ones to expand their sensory and imaginative personality. Music helps them to understand rhythm and harmony, and also to express themselves and their moods. This set of percussion instruments from Sevi is an easy way to get kids started. It comes with 8 pieces, including a tambourine, castanets, a triangle, maracas and a noise maker. Produced by Sevi, Europe’s oldest wooden toy company, this product contains parts and components that are recommended for children ages 2 and up.
Noah’s Ark Balance Game comes with pairs of brightly painted wooden animals and can be played either cooperatively or competitively by the entire family. Kids learn about weight distribution and how the shape of an object affects where it is able to be balanced. Played against an opponent, kids learn to place animals just so their opponent has difficulty finding a spot for their piece. Pieces are the perfect size for ages 3+. Kids can also work together to see how quickly they can stack all the animals on the rocking ark. Sevi is Europe’s oldest wooden toy company.
To win the chance to give away more than 100 educational toys, games and products to your local school systems, Headstart programs and children's charities, please send an email to email@example.com with the following information:
YOUR NAME: STORE NAME: YEAR FOUNDED: HOW MANY EVENTS YOU HOLD PER YEAR: HOW MANY EVENTS ARE COVERED BY YOUR LOCAL MEDIA: WHAT CHARITIES AND SCHOOLS DO YOU CURRENTLY WORK WITH? WHY DO YOU WANT TO GIVE TOYS FROM SPECIALTY MANUFACTURERS TO YOUR LOCAL SCHOOLS AND CHARITIES? IF YOU SHOULD WIN, WHAT PLANS DO YOU HAVE FOR PROMOTING THIS EVENT TO YOUR CUSTOMERS AND LOCAL PRESS?
Writer's Bio: ALISON MAREK is an award-winning writer, director and cartoonist whose work has been published by Fairchild Publications and DC Comics (Piranha Press), broadcast on Showtime and other cable networks, and viewed worldwide in film festivals. See her short films and print work on www.alisonmarek.com. Watch her nefarious villains in the web series www.MuggsMovers.com. Get inspired by her cartoons "Daily ARFFirmations to Unleash Your Inner Fido" at www.ARFFirmations.com. Phew! And then ... Read more articles by this author