Actors and brother and sister duo Jaden and Willow Smith are joining Hasbro, Inc.’s PROJECT ZAMBI as the program’s Youth Ambassadors to help raise awareness for the estimated 15 million children who have lost parents and relatives to the AIDS epidemic in Africa and around the world. Earlier this year, Hasbro launched PROJECT ZAMBI, a global cause initiative that has introduced a new special edition FURREAL FRIENDS ZAMBI THE BABY ELEPHANT product dedicated to raising awareness and benefiting programs caring for these children.
“Willow and I joined PROJECT ZAMBI to represent all the kids out there who want to make the world a better place,” said Jaden Smith, age 11. “We want to encourage kids everywhere to lend a hand and join us in spreading the word about how much children who have been orphaned by AIDS in Africa need our help.”
Jaden and Willow have also lent their famous signatures for the PROJECT ZAMBI Celebrity Charity Auction, which began Monday at www.ebay.com/projectzambi
. Jaden, Willow and other celebrities from the worlds of film, television, music and sports have come together to support PROJECT ZAMBI in a 10-day online auction featuring custom-designed, one-of-a-kind, collectible elephant models – each signed by one of the participating celebrities. All money raised from the sale of each elephant will be donated to the organization of the celebrity’s choice that supports children orphaned by AIDS in Africa, including Jaden and Willow’s autographed elephant, which will benefit the Chikumbuso Women and Orphan’s Project in Zambia.
“PROJECT ZAMBI is about kids and for kids, and it’s so important that we all learn to take care of each other,” said Willow, age 8. “Even from the other side of the world, kids in Africa will know they have friends who care about them.”
To help bring PROJECT ZAMBI to life, Hasbro has introduced a new special edition FURREAL FRIENDS ZAMBI THE BABY ELEPHANT toy (Ages 4 years & up/Approx. Retail Price: $49.99/Fall 09) which is available this fall in Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, and features soft and cuddly ears and feet that are covered in a special fabric pattern designed by boys and girls from one of the African communities dedicated to caring for children orphaned by AIDS.
Hasbro has committed to donate 50 percent of the net profits from ZAMBI THE BABY ELEPHANT -- a minimum of $500,000 (in U.S. dollars) -- to the PROJECT ZAMBI Fund, part of the Hasbro Children’s Fund, beginning in 2009, and hopes to expand this global campaign to include additional Hasbro products and brands in the years to come. By purchasing ZAMBI THE BABY ELEPHANT, consumers will be supporting programs that work directly with children orphaned by AIDS in Africa.
“Hasbro has long understood the important role our company and our employees play in helping to address critical children’s issues in the United States and around the world,” said Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s President and CEO. “PROJECT ZAMBI will raise awareness and funding for this important initiative, providing hope for children in need in Africa while reinforcing Hasbro’s ongoing commitment to children and families everywhere.”
This latest initiative is a part of the work Hasbro conducts in the U.S. and around the world to help children in need through the Hasbro Children’s Fund and product donations. In 2008, Hasbro impacted approximately four million children through its charitable programs and product donations.
ZAMBI THE BABY ELEPHANT is currently available on Hasbrotoyshop.com and at retailers nationwide. For more information about the PROJECT ZAMBI Celebrity Charity Auction, PROJECT ZAMBI and ZAMBI THE BABY ELEPHANT, please visit www.projectzambi.com