TDmonthly Magazine!
June 2012 | Vol. XI - No. 6


Hape Cooked up a Storm

TDmonthly's "2012: A Year of Charity" 2nd 1/4 Roundup, Part III

Founded in 1986 by Peter Handstein, Hape has always had a mission to create beautiful and engaging toys with minimal impact on the environment and with maximum benefit to its workers. Peter is also committed to ensuring that everyone who works for him has benefits and becomes a member of their extended family. That includes the countries in which they operate: Hape has built three schools in Xingren, within the Gùizhōu province (one of the least developed areas of China), approximately 1,500 miles west of company headquarters in Ningbo.

Hape’s charitable efforts are not limited to education, however. They gave $20,000 in toys to one of the new kindergartens they built. In 2010, they donated $45,000 worth of toys to schools in the Si Chuan region, which had been devastated by an earthquake the year before.

They joined three other specialty manufacturer’s in TDmonthly’s "2012: A Year of Charity" promotion. Hape donated String Along Shapes games, Little Dump Trucks and Gourmet Chef Apron Sets – a total of 100 products – to winning specialty toy-store owners, who then distributed them to local children’s charities.
"We have sold all of the products Hapedonated and we think they’re great," Diana Nelson of Kazoo Toys in Denver reported. Her charities were The Starlight Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Denver. "All of the toys were quality toys with an educational bent."

The Hape aprons were especially well themed for the Ronald McDonald House dinner event, which is where Kazoo donated half its toys.

"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.

Sari Powazek of Doll House & Toy Store in Scottsdale, Ariz., realized she'd picked the best possible charities (The Crisis Center and Devereaux House) when she learned that each of them have far-reaching programs that extend beyond their local shelters.

"They have respite homes and foster homes and Devereaux has two schools," Sari continued.

The centers had play kitchens, too, where the aprons from Hape will really be appreciated. Sari carries lots of Hape wooden food toys in her store. She said that the trucks and stringing toys will be used as individual prizes in the children’s homes she donated, to help kids modify their behaviors and achieve their goals.

Dan Driver, of Jake’s Toy Box in Arvada, Colo., also loved the Hape toys. "The kids really seemed to go for the aprons," he noted.

Dan was especially appreciative of all the manufacturers’ generosity because the good will provided by the giveaway was a needed distraction from his wife’s recent diagnosis with a brain tumor and subsequent treatments. They’d begun their toy store as an homage to their son Jake, who’d died at age 4.

Dan’s charities were Stride, Hope House and Family Tree.

"We are very excited about the donation and hopefully the media attention this will bring to Jake’s Toy Box," said Dana Juniel, director of PR and marketing for The Family Tree. She succeeded in bringing local focus to the event and Channel 8 is preparing a short feature on Jake's Toy Box and the giveaway that will be shown later in the month.

"We’re so happy that all the toys made it into the hands of many deserving kiddos and will make it into the hands of even more kiddos," summed up Dan.

The charities that Hape International helped out with TDmonthly's "2012: A Year of Charity" were:
Ronald McDonald House of Denver, Starlight Kids, Devereaux House, The Crisis Center, Stride, Hope House of Colorado and The Family Tree.

The winning retailers, who were able to stage events at their stores and pick their favorite charities were Diana Nelson of Kazoo Toys in Denver, Dan & Jill Driver of Jake's Toy Box in Arvada, Colo., and Sari Powazek of Doll House & Toy Store in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Read more about Hape here.

Specialty toy store owners: Enter to win the latest round of TDmonthly’s "2012: A Year of Charity" and get the chance to give away 100s of educational products to your local schools and children’s charities! Find out how here.

MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Category: Infant & Toddler
Wooden Toys

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.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34062      (added 4/9/2012)

MSRP: $9.99
Age Range: 1 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Wooden Toys

This sturdy little dump truck belongs at every construction site. The chunky maple design includes a removable load. The truck measures 4.6" x 2.4" x 3.5". Ages 10 months and up.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34063      (added 4/9/2012)

MSRP: $14.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Specialty: Yes (as of 2012)
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler
Pretend Play

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.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 34061      (added 4/9/2012)

Alison MarekWriter'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 Watch her nefarious villains in the web series Get inspired by her cartoons "Daily ARFFirmations to Unleash Your Inner Fido" at Phew! And then ...  Read more articles by this author


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