IKEA U.S. supports its local communities by donating 5,000 beds and bedding to refugee families who are starting new lives in America

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., June 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- IKEA U.S. announced today that it has created a community donation program - a campaign called 5,000 Dreams - that will focus on supporting newly arrived refugee families in local IKEA store communities. Through three partner refugee organizations, IKEA will donate 5,000 beds and bedding* to refugee families who are making fresh starts with their families. The three established refugee organizations are the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, the International Rescue Committee and the Ethiopian Community Development Council.

The current international refugee crisis is one of the greatest, most complex humanitarian challenges of our generation. Today, the number of people displaced from their homes by violence and persecution is unprecedented in human history. By the end of 2015, over 65 million people were forcibly displaced, with nearly a third–20 million–living outside of their countries as refugees.

"IKEA is committed to creating a better everyday life and that includes respecting the basic human rights of every individual. We believe every person has equal value and that the global family is strengthened when all of humanity is recognized," commented Evamay Lawson, IKEA U.S. Community Relations Manager. Lawson added, "We are pleased we can make a difference in our community's refugee families by donating beds and bedding to help make their new homes comfortable with a good night's sleep." 

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sleep helps your brain work properly. "While you're sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day. It's forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information. Studies show that a good night's sleep improves learning. It also supports healthy growth and development."**

"The way IKEA has demonstrated leadership in service and support to refugees is so humbling.  5000 Dreams is more than just a warm, safe place to lay one's head.  It is a statement of solidarity and compassion for people who never expected to find themselves displaced.  As an international business, they are setting a high bar for both business and government leaders to do all they can to support the uprooted," stated Lavinia Limon, President/CEO, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.

"ECDC's resettlement network very much appreciates IKEA's leadership in helping refugees. ECDC stands with IKEA U.S. in saying that refugees are welcome," said Dr. Tsehaye Teferra, Director of ECDC. "After experiencing significant hardship, refugees are now rebuilding their lives and will have one of the most basic of comforts---a bed. ECDC welcomes this partnership with IKEA in welcoming refugees to their new life in America."

"When refugees arrive in the U.S. they bring little to nothing with them," said David Miliband, IRC president and CEO, "so the little things you and I might take for granted every day can make a huge difference in their comfort and in establishing the feeling of home. Now more than ever, the International Rescue Committee – and more importantly, the resilient refugees we serve – look to innovative partnerships like IKEA's 5,000 Dreams to help refugees build a home here in America."

Some publicly available information from HHS & Pew.

  • Of the 84,995 refugees admitted to the United States in fiscal year 2016, the largest numbers came from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, Burma (Myanmar) and Iraq. (Pew)
  • Since 1975, the U.S. has resettled more than 3 million refugees, with nearly 77 percent being either Indochinese or citizens of the former Soviet Union. Since the enactment of the Refugee Act of 1980, annual admissions figures have ranged from a high of 207,116 in 1980, to a low of 27,100 in 2002. (HHS)

IKEA U.S. has been committed to helping its local communities through many social programs including Early Steps to School Success, Feeding the Future and the Life Improvement programs that benefit community schools, organizations and institutions which need a helping hand through IKEA product donations and IKEA co-worker volunteer support.

On a global level, since 2010, the IKEA Foundation has committed over $165 million*** (€148 million) to UNHCR to provide shelter, access to education, livelihood opportunities and renewable energy to families and children living in Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Jordan. Working with the social enterprise organizations - Better Shelter and UNHCR – the IKEA Foundation has created a safer and more durable shelter. In 2015, UNHCR bought 10,000 shelters to house displaced families in several countries, including Greece, Iraq, Djibouti, Chad and Serbia. The IKEA Foundation Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign in IKEA stores globally raised $34.4 million (€30.8 million) in 2014 and 2015, to bring sustainable lighting, energy and education to refugee camps.

The IKEA Foundation recently created another refugee program with a positive societal impact; purchasing rugs from Jordan and partnering with local refugee social enterprises/foundations. This program will enable 200 Syrian refugee woman to produce saleable rugs through IKEA.

For more information, go to www.IKEA-USA.com/5000dreams

NOTE: IKEA U.S. will be working with 3 refugee agencies for the bulk of the donations, however 6 IKEA stores (Orlando, charlotte, West Chester, Portland, Round Rock & Memphis), will be working with local refugee organizations. IKEA Long Island is not participating due to lack of local refugee organization.

*5,000 beds will be donated between 2 years, 2017 and 2018
**https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/why   
***$1.12 US to one (Euro)

IKEA
Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 392 IKEA stores in 48 countries, including 44 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information see IKEA-USA.com, @IKEAUSANews, @IKEAUSA or IKEAUSA on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest.

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants has protected the rights and addressed the needs of persons in forced or voluntary migration worldwide for over 106 years.  Our vision is that immigrants, refugees and uprooted people will live dignified lives with their rights respected and protected in communities of opportunity.  In the United States our network is comprised of over 100 local agencies. Learn more at www.refugees.org

The International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 28 offices across the U.S. helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.

Ethiopian Community Development Council, Inc.
ECDC is one of nine resettlement agencies working in partnership with the Department of State and the Office of Refugee Resettlement to provide initial placement and support services to refuges being resettled in the United States. With a special focus on African refugees, ECDC promotes cultural, educational and socioeconomic development programs to assist refugees and immigrants in becoming productive members of their new homeland. For more information about ECDC visit http://www.ecdcus.org/ and follow ECDC on Facebook and Twitter.

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SOURCE IKEA U.S.

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