The Toy Foundation


Contact: Laurie Chartorynsky
The Toy Association
646.454.5590 / cell: 516.721.6596


Local Toy Company Volunteers Bring Toys & Smiles to Kids in Need

PYP ChicagoChicago, IL | July 25, 2018 – Chicago area children living in foster care received brand-new toys and games today from local toy company volunteers at a fun-filled “Play Your Part” event hosted by The Toy Foundation (TTF), the philanthropic arm of the North American toy industry, in partnership with CASA of Cook County, a not-for-profit organization that provides a voice in the courtroom for children who have experienced abuse and neglect.

“A simple stuffed animal, doll, or set of building blocks can provide great comfort to a child living through a stressful situation, which is why we are so pleased to provide these deserving children with the gift of play,” said Jean Butler, executive director of The Toy Foundation. “We thank all of our toy industry donors and volunteers for making this year’s Play Your Part event in Chicago such a huge success!”

Local toy companies, including Learning Resources, PlayMonster, Radio Flyer, TOMY, and VTech, among others, participated in the event, which was held at Guaranteed Rate Field. Companies either donated toys, sponsored an activity station, or sent company volunteers, who handed out toys and led activities for nearly 200 children in attendance.

Volunteers also filled gift bags with hundreds of additional toys to be distributed to foster children in the coming weeks. More than 13,000 toys were donated for this event by generous manufacturers, retailers, and distributors to TTF’s Toy Bank.

The lively gathering included exciting activities for the kids, like a Mad Science Lab, slime, mini golf station, fishing duel, and bucket challenge, just to name a few. The day was capped off with a special toy distribution, when each child’s face lit up with delight as they received new toys to take home, including action figures, board games, craft kits, plush, ride-ons, superman capes, and more.

“PlayMonster believes that play makes a difference in people’s lives,” said Cori Blake, event volunteer from PlayMonster. “Play shapes lives and brings people together and being a part of that is one of the greatest things we can do. Everyone deserves time to play and set aside worries or problems, and we’re happy to volunteer our time to make that happen for foster children during Play Your Part!”

Added Dr. Bonita Carr, executive director of CASA of Cook County: “We are proud to partner with The Toy Foundation because toys are not merely playthings. Toys form the building blocks for children's future. We recognize that toys assist in a child's development and spark their imagination.”

Sponsors for the event included: American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), ChiTAG, Educational Insights, Learning Resources, Magformers, PlayMonster, Radio Flyer, Thames & Kosmos, TOMY, Toy'N Around, T.S. Shure, UGears, and VTech.

About The Toy Foundation 
The Toy Foundation (TTF) is a 501(c)3 children’s charity whose mission is to provide joy and comfort to children in need through the experience of toys and play. TTF serves children who are coping with serious illness, enduring temporary home placements in the foster care system, suffering from abuse or neglect, experiencing separation from a deployed military parent, or dealing with devastating natural disasters. To date, TTF’s signature program, The Toy Bank, has provided more than $200 million in toys to more than 25 million children in need around the globe, thanks to its generous toy donors.


About CASA of Cook County
For 32 years, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Cook County has been providing a voice in the courtroom for children who have experienced abuse and neglect. As the only not-for-profit in Chicago that actively trains, supports and supervises court-appointed special advocates (CASAs), CASA of Cook County has been equipping everyday citizens to advocate on behalf of one child or one set of siblings. Advocates research cases; connect with the child and the adults involved; and provide valuable attention to the case and detailed information to the court. Judges rely on this insight to make the best decisions about children’s futures. CASA of Cook County is the largest of 31 CASA programs operating in Illinois and is the only program of its kind in Cook County – but the need is growing. There are more than 5,800 children in Cook County’s foster care system and CASA of Cook County currently serves fewer than 10 percent of these children.