Make-A-Wish Foundation International and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America today announced joining with Mattel, Inc., the world’s leading toy manufacturer, as a Global Signature Partner. With this announcement, Mattel will become part of the Make-A-Wish® experiences of 30,000 children with life-threatening medical conditions worldwide in the next year.
To launch this effort, Mattel, Inc. has created custom-designed Make-A-Wish Barbie® dolls and Make-A-Wish Hot Wheels® cars that will be given to wish kids around the world. The toys will be used as special gifts for children as they begin their wish experience. Mattel will also continue to work with the Make-A-Wish organizations to grant wishes globally to children related to its American Girl®, Barbie and Hot Wheels brands.
“We’re pleased to join with a company such as Mattel whose goal is also to bring happiness to children,” said David Williams, Make-A-Wish Foundation of America president and chief executive officer. “These popular dolls and cars will help our wish-granting volunteers break the ice with courageous children as we begin to create their incredible wish experiences.”
As the largest toy manufacturer in the world, Mattel is dedicated to providing safe and reliable products to children, as well as giving back 2 percent of pretax profit through philanthropic programs. Mattel’s Global Signature Partner program is a part of its corporate philanthropy programs, re-launched in 2005 to dedicate the maximum Mattel resources around its core philanthropic vision and values. In 2007, Mattel added the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America as a Signature Partner and expands its support around the world this year to Make-A-Wish Foundation International and its 33 affiliates, which serve children outside the United States and its territories.
“We’re proud to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation globally and to be able to design and create special toys that will impact the lives of thousands of children facing life-threatening medical conditions this year,” said Tim Kilpin, general manager of the Boys, Girls and Games division at Mattel, Inc. and Make-A-Wish Foundation International board member.
In fiscal year 2008, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America granted 13,425 wishes, the most ever in its history. The organization relies on the grassroots support of nearly 25,000 volunteers to serve its chapters across the country in a variety of capacities, including wish granting, office administrative support, special event planning, language translation, fundraising and much more.
In the past 18 months, Make-A-Wish Foundation International has opened new affiliates in Brazil, Germany, Pakistan and Turkey. Wishes around the world vary greatly, from Peruvian child Angel Jesus’ wish “to have toys to play with” to Canadian child Alain’s wish to “visit Egypt with my father” to Jaine’s wish in Brazil to “see the ocean.”
“By helping grant our children’s heartfelt wishes, we bring a ray of sunshine back into their worlds, and with this joy, life becomes worth living again,” said Dr. Keith Goh, chair of Make-A-Wish Foundation International and renowned pediatric neurosurgeon. “We look forward to moving in step with our partner Mattel as we bring hope, strength, and joy to more children around the world.”