Newcastle mom wins IKEA’s Stuff the Bug contest

January 31, 2012

The Seattle IKEA yellow Volkswagen Bug is filled with soft toys to promote its annual campaign. Contributed

There is no such thing as a free lunch, but Newcastle resident Angela Weber often attends IKEA’s free Monday morning breakfasts with a group of friends.

That’s how she found out about the Stuff the Bug Contest.

But on one trip in particular, it paid off big.

“I thought it was really fun to see a VW bug stuffed with toys,” she said.

The yellow classic Beetle was stuffed with soft toys to promote IKEA’s Soft Toys for Education campaign.

IKEA held its annual Soft Toys for Education campaign from Nov. 1 through Dec. 24. Since 2003, the IKEA Soft Toy campaign has donated $47.5 million to UNICEF and Save the Children — a contribution that has provided access to education to about 8 million children in nearly 40 countries.

For every colorful soft toy purchased at stores throughout the U.S. during the contest, IKEA donated $1.30, or the equivalent of one Euro, to UNICEF and Save the Children’s global projects designed to improve children’s education.

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Glassblowers create colorful hearts for Japan relief

March 22, 2011

Many people have reached out to Japan following its devastating earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis.

Lenoard Whitfield (left) and Geoff Pursel, glassblowers at artbyfire, hold several glass hearts as more from their first batch cool in a kiln. By Greg Farrar

“Our hearts go out to them because it’s horrible,” artbyfire Owner Renee Pound said.

In light of the tragedies, two artbyfire glassblowers donated eight hours of their time to create 75 clear glass hearts infused with color. Each heart will sell for $28, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting Save the Children, a nonprofit organization that provides food, medical care and education for children through long-term recovery programs.

Save the Children uses 90 percent of its expenditures to pay for program services, a number that impressed Pound, who found that other nonprofits spend more of their money on overhead costs.

The hearts will be on sale until they sell out at artbyfire. The glassblowers will make more if they are a popular item, Pound said.

Glassblowers Lenoard Whitfield and Geoff Pursel explained the process. They began the project with clear glass and then added recycled colored glass to each heart, using hand tools to perfect the shape. Like a sandwich, they added more clear glass to the top of each heart and then torched the back to melt away the sharp edges.

Whitfield described their work as “ethereal purples, cerulean blues and emerald greens.”

This is the second time in the past decade that artbyfire raised awareness about a disaster.

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Issaquah artbyfire creates glowing hearts to benefit Japanese children

March 17, 2011

Glassblower Lenoard Whitfield holds one of the glass hearts up to a display spotlight to show the color swirls and bubbles. By Greg Farrar

NEW — 4:30 p.m. March 17, 2011

Many people have reached out to Japan following its devastating earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear crisis.

“Our hearts go out to them because it’s horrible,” artbyfire owner Renee Pound said.

In light of the tragedies, two artbyfire glassblowers donated eight hours of their time to create 75 clear glass hearts infused with color.

Each heart will sell for $28, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting Save the Children, a nonprofit organization that provides food, medical care and education for children through long-term recovery programs.

Save the Children uses 90 percent of its expenditures to pay for program services, a number that impressed Pound, who found that other nonprofits spend more of their money on overhead costs.

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Report: State is prepared to help children in disasters

July 27, 2010

Washington ranks as a national leader for protecting children during disasters, a national child advocacy group announced July 21.

Save the Children — a Connecticut-based nonprofit organization — lauded the Evergreen State for taking steps to protect children. The state developed plans to evacuate childcare centers, reunite children with their families, account for children with special needs during disasters and develop evacuation plans for schools.

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Report: Washington stands prepared to help children during disasters

July 24, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. July 24, 2010

Washington ranks as a national leader for protecting children during disasters, a national child advocacy group announced Wednesday.

Save the Children — a Connecticut-based nonprofit organization — lauded the Evergreen State for taking steps to protect children. The state developed plans to evacuate childcare centers, reunite children with their families, account for children with special needs during disasters and develop evacuation plans for schools.

“Washington is a national leader in protecting the most vulnerable Washingtonians in the most vulnerable settings,” Mark Shriver, U.S. programs senior vice president for Save the Children, said in a news release. “I hope other states will follow Washington’s example.”

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