Stories of Volunteerism
12 Days of PlayEmbracing the spirit of one of the most joyful seasons each year, Mattel focuses the combined passion and energy of Mattel employee volunteers with the company’s toy donations to make a difference in the lives of undeserved children during the holiday season. The Mattel 12 Days of Play brings Mattel employees together to take part in team-building volunteer events around the world, hosted in partnership with local schools and nonprofits. Since its launch in 2010, the Mattel 12 Days of Play has impacted tens of thousands of kids in more than 30 countries. As the driving force of Mattel’s philanthropic culture, Mattel PLAYers and the 12 Days of Play have made a lasting impact on Mattel’s corporate culture.
Team MattelTeam Mattel represents Mattel’s volunteer program with Special Olympics. Since Mattel’s partnership began with Special Olympics, our volunteers have played an important role, participating in hundreds of local and national events in nearly 50 countries. Team Mattel is the largest global team of corporate volunteers working with Special Olympics. More than 10,000, or one in three, Mattel employees have been part of Team Mattel, volunteering their time to support and encourage play experiences for young people with intellectual disabilities. Since 2009, Mattel has provided global volunteer teams for World Games in Shanghai, China, Athens, Greece and Los Angeles, CA in the United States.
Bringing Play to Children with Special Needs Around the World
Mattel employees in Greece have wrapped their arms around a local orphanage and residential facility for children with special needs. Known as PIKPA, the facility cares for more than 100 children with both physical and intellectual disabilities. Mattel Greece initiated its involvement with PIKPA in 2010 and nearly half of its employees continue to volunteer their time on a weekly basis. The children at PIKPA are like family to Mattel Greece employees. For this reason, Mattel Greece used a grant from the Mattel Children’s Foundation to transform a dilapidated building on the PIKPA campus into a vibrant activities center. The makeover even included painting murals similar to those Mattel helped create earlier this year at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA. The murals transport the children and visitors into a magical world complete with an enchanted forest, whimsical garden and an undersea adventure.
Now, when Mattel Greece employee volunteers arrive, the excitement is evident on the children’s faces and PIKPA feels like home to the Mattel PLAYers. The center is a colorful hub of activity—where the children not only have access to much needed therapy, but also regularly experience the simple joy of play. Check out a moving video about the Mattel Greece partnership with PIKPA orphanage.
Special Olympics Family
When Alan Fry, Senior Customer Logistics Analyst, began volunteering with Special Olympics as part of Team Mattel seven years ago, he didn’t really understand what the organization was about. From the first volunteer experience, he realized that what Special Olympics had to offer was exactly what his son, A.J., needed. Alan and A.J. immediately became involved with the organization in Southern California. A.J.’s transformation has been nothing short of miraculous. He is now is an accomplished, gold-medal athlete and has made friends all over the world. Once a shy, introverted teenager, A.J. now speaks in front of large audiences as a messenger for Special Olympics in Southern California. He competes in eight sports and won gold medals at the Shanghai World Games in 2007. In addition, he also works at Mattel as part of the company’s employment program for adults with disabilities. Alan continues to volunteer with Special Olympics every weekend, and also remains very involved as A.J.’s coach.