With thousands of children and families gravely affected by the conflict in Ukraine, the family of award-winning educational toy companies Learning Resources, Educational Insights, and hand2mind has announced they are providing support in numerous meaningful ways. Along with financial support, the companies are sending a number of educational toys and activity sheets translated into Ukrainian to benefit thousands of refugee children who are in desperate need of resources in their native language.
The family of companies is supporting relief efforts through United Hatzalah of Israel, a non-profit emergency response organization currently aiding families fleeing the war in Ukraine with medical assistance, psychological support, supplies, medicine, and food. A hand2mind employee, Elina Saksonova, Senior Graphic Designer originally from Kyiv, started a fundraising campaign for United Hatzalah to help families affected by the conflict in Ukraine. The campaign has already raised over $13,000 largely from employee contributions and the companies added another $20,000 to the total. The company’s Learning Resources UK office raised money for the British Red Cross serving Ukraine and set up a special project team to create local language, free educational worksheets working with partners located in the UK and Ukraine as well as Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania. These partners have offered to help by translating and distributing the content, informing others of its availability, and providing toy donations of their own. The translated activity sheets will be available online and also delivered through local relief organizations serving in the region.
“The war in Ukraine created a massive humanitarian crisis for thousands of families and children. Our team has a sense of urgency to offer meaningful support during this difficult time,” said Rick Woldenberg, CEO of Learning Resources and hand2mind. “With the help of our employees, partners, and local distributors, some of which are in Ukraine and the surrounding areas, we sprung into action. Our hope is to inspire others with our initiatives and support thousands of children and families in dire need right now.”
“We are so grateful to you and your employee fundraising team,” said a representative of United Hatzalah. “We sent a chartered El-Al flight to Ukraine last week with thousands of pounds of medical supplies, a team of volunteer medics and doctors and were able to send 150 refugees to safety in Israel. Thank you for also letting us know about your UK efforts and being on the front lines of this humanitarian crisis. The work you are doing on behalf of Ukrainian children will enrich their lives forever.”
Taking this effort even further, local partner Centrum will be translating activity sheets into Polish for language training and they are encouraging customers in Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania to do the same. Local educators are planning for language workshops for Ukrainian children as well as special help for children with developmental disorders and autism. In certain border areas, local partners, Educlass and Centrum will distribute the translated activity sheets and donated toys via non-profit relief organizations active in refugee camps.
The companies are also working to send their toys to displaced families in the region. Educational Insights is supporting a private organization that is sending a cargo plane filled with supplies for Ukrainian refugees. After hearing of their initiative, Educational Insights rushed to provide a range of language-free educational toys for this special mission. Other in-kind donations are being explored with European partners.
“It’s our mission to bring learning to life,” said Woldenberg. “This is what we do, no matter the circumstance or challenges we may face. Providing the translated learning aids, educational toys and other donations is an expression of this mission. We could not ignore the call to action of the crisis in Ukraine and surrounding areas.”
All of the new activity sheets will be posted on learningresources.co.uk. To support families in Ukraine you can donate to the company’s campaign with United Hatzalah.