Dos & Don’ts for Donating Children’s Goods to Hurricane Victims


A message from Gary C. Smith, President and CEO of NAEIR, the largest gifts-in-kind organization in America.

One of the great things about American children’s retail and manufacturing companies is that when disaster strikes, many of us want to help. Our response is often a powerful urge to rush what we think will be helpful supplies straight to the disaster zone.

Think twice! Very often, such supplies do more harm to good. In the chaotic aftermath of a storm or flood, goods are often left to go to waste. For example, we recently learned that more than a year after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, 10 trailers full of rotting, rodent-infested donations were discovered in a parking lot,

Worse yet, these spontaneous donations can clog up valuable staging space and transportation zones, hampering relief efforts of those on the ground. After Hurricane Mitch hit Honduras, cargo planes carrying life-saving supplies were unable to land because the runways were covered with boxes of useless winter clothing donations.

This is such a wide-spread problem, relief workers have dubbed it “the disaster after the disaster.”

However, companies can truly make a difference for victims of disasters. Here are two things you can do that will make the right kind of difference:

  • Make a financial contribution to a reputable not-for-profit that specializes in disaster relief and has a proven track record of delivering aid. That way, your donated funds can be used to purchases what’s needed most – often food, water and medicine.
  • If you have goods you’d like to give, don’t ship them to the disaster site: donate them to a national gifts-in-kind organization. These are 501c3 nonprofits that accept corporate product donations (aka “gifts-in kind”), then redistribute them to qualified nonprofits upon request. They have a process in place for delivering goods into the hands of those who are primed to receive them, after confirming they’re qualified nonprofits.

For corporate donors, joining a gifts-in-kind organization is simple and free (generally, you simply complete an online form). Once your company is accepted, you can donate at any time.

How it works: you provide the organization with an inventory of your donation, and once it’s approved, ship it to a designated location. The organization takes it from there.

In addition to corporate-wide gratification, there are compelling business benefits here. Product donations are tax deductible. In fact, if your firm is a C Corp, it’s eligible for a tax deduction up to twice the cost of the merchandise you donate, thanks to a little-known section of tax code, IRC Section 170(e)(3).

Gifts-in-kind donating is also an easy way to keep inventory current and warehouses in order, since overstocks, out-of-season merchandise and even returns are accepted. In addition, your organization will advise you what specific charities requested and received your goods – providing some good news to share with employees and customers.

In short, it’s a great thing when America’s corporate citizens want to help victims of natural disasters, as well as those in need year-round. But to be truly helpful, it has to be done right.

About National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources

Galesburg, Illinois-based NAEIR, National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources  has received donations of excess inventory from more than 8,000 U.S. corporations and redistributed more than $3 billion in products to non-profits and schools.

The gifts-in-kind organization provides FREE merchandise year-round, including clothing, office, maintenance and janitorial supplies, paper goods, plus much more. Learn more by visiting naeir.org. Gary C. Smith may be reached at 800-562-0955.

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My Singing Monsters


Get ready for plush toys, home décor, collectibles and electronics accessories!

My Singing Monsters is a beloved, critically acclaimed game on the App Store and Google Play, with more than 70 million players worldwide. The free-to-play family-friendly title explores rich and intriguing worlds as players engage in discovery, creativity and delight by breeding and feeding Singing Monsters to build unique melodies.

My Singing Monsters is produced by mobile gaming company Big Blue Bubble. For more than 10 years, Big Blue Bubble has been creating fun, innovative, engaging and award-winning games that inspire creativity and encourage people of all ages to embrace their playful side. Big Blue Bubble’s commitment has earned the studio recognition from prestigious organizations around the world, including awards from Deloitte, BAFTA and IGN for economic growth, people’s choice and editor’s choice, respectively. My Singing Monsters.is the studio’s top-grossing flagship franchise.

Big Blue Bubble, partnering with Vancouver, Canada-based multimedia entertainment company Wind Sun Sky and The Walking Dead producer Skybound Entertainment, has licensed the My Singing Monsters gaming app property to FanWraps Inc. to produce a line of automotive, home décor, collectibles and consumer electronic accessories.

In addition, the troika has also licensed My Singing Monsters to Commonwealth Toys to produce a complete line of plush toys in all sizes for the global market.

Everyone involved is thrilled.

“With their strong fan-centric pop culture licenses, we know FanWraps will deliver quality products for our brand,” says Catherine Winder, CEO of Wind Sun Sky and producer of the game’s animated series. “We’re also excited to bring our plush toy program to life for our fans and collectors by working with Commonwealth Toys.” Catherine is known for her work at LucasFilm and on The Angry Birds Movie.

My Singing Monsters has a significant library of user-generated content with over 150 Million views on YouTube, which gives FanWraps a large audience to reach with collectibles. An automotive wrap and decal company at its inception, FanWraps has moved into the consumer electronics, home décor and collectibles market, producing a wide variety of product types customized by a licensed property and specializing in new category development.

“We’ve been keeping our eye on this property for a while and see incredible retail toy and collectible potential for both the game and future animated series,” says Alec Kessler, Executive Vice President of Commonwealth. “This brand has an enormous following and massive fan engagement.” Commonwealth Toy’s portfolio includes properties such as Angry Birds, Sponge Bob, JoJo Siwa, Paw Patrol, Fingerlings, Smooshy Mushy and many more.

The first FanWraps merchandise will be introduced for the 2018 holidays while the first Commonwealth Toys characters will also roll out in time for the 2018 holidays, offered through e-commerce and at select retailers. The plush toy line will continue to build a collection of characters in a variety of sizes with plans to incorporate the musical abilities of the monsters.

These deals are brokered by Alita Friedman, CEO of Alita’s Brand Bar, and licensing agency for the My Singing Monsters franchise.

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UglyDolls Movie


Singing sensation Kelly Clarkson is voicing Moxy, the lead Uglydoll in the new animated feature film, UglyDolls.

Kelly is also performing original songs for the movie as well as Pitbull, who is also part of the voice cast. The film tells the story of Moxy and her Uglydoll friends “as they confront what it means to be different, struggle with their desire to be loved and ultimately discover that you don’t have to be perfect to be amazing because who you truly are is what matters most.” Wow, that’s a mouthful … and describes what many children face in their lives every day.

Robert Simonds’ global next-generation media company STX Entertainment is producing the film and STXtv also has the dual role of studio and producer for the UglyDolls animated kids series streaming exclusively on Hulu. STX is moving beyond traditional platform-driven content to creating talent-driven entertainment with a mission “to unlock the value of the direct connection stars have with their fans through the development, financing, production, marketing and distribution of film, television, VR, digital video, music and live entertainment content.” Wow, another mouthful.

Created as a plush toy line by David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim, the Uglydoll brand quickly gained a cult following around the world. The first hand-sewn plush character, Wage, came to life in 2001. In 2006, Uglydoll is named Toy of the Year by the Toy Industry Association. Uglydoll characters are distinct for their endearing “ugliness,” in a wonderful “uglyverse” where differences are celebrated and embraced.

Their company, Pretty Ugly, LLC is having quite the year. Earlier in 2018, Hasbro signs on as global master toy licensee, Walmart signs on to give Uglydoll its highest level of retail support and White Space Entertainment, global master licensing agent for STX Entertainment, selects Jay Franco as key licensing partner for the UglyDolls brand. Under the licensing agreement, Jay Franco will have rights to a variety of home products, including bedding, bath, pillow, beach and more.

“We are thrilled to be working with STX and White Space on UglyDolls, to develop products that elevate their message of positivity, friendship, uniqueness and self-empowerment aimed at inspiring young people to follow their dreams and never be afraid to be themselves,” Elisha Gordon, VP of Licensing at Jay Franco and Sons, says.

Next year looks beautiful for Uglydolls everywhere. The UglyDolls franchise is set to kick off with the animated feature film slated for a May 10, 2019 release via STXfilms, with additional UglyDolls projects in the works across STX’s multiple divisions, including STXtelevision, STXdigital and STXsurreal.

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Bloom Kids Essentials


They’ve got kids’ backs … and their bottoms (hee-hee)!

The business of children’s underwear demands attention, especially for the girl who can’t abide creeping, pinching or shifty undies. The folks at Bloom Kids Essentials provide girls with top of the line, eco-friendly underwear that stays put. They’ve been making comfortable kids underwear since 2009 and launched this new organic line in 2017.

Made from the softest organic cotton for the ultimate in comfort and function, Bloom Kids Essentials are a sanity-saver for parents who’ve endured tantrums and fits, and for kids who go commando because they can’t stand the skin-crawling discomfort of regular underwear. With flat-lock seams and smoothie-soft waistbands, these undies “cater to the discerning tush that appreciates a wedgie-free existence with unmatched comfort and state-of-the-art design.” Kids seem to agree.

“It’s like wearing fluff on my butt.”

            -Qynne, 4 yrs

Mainstream fabrics can be full of harmful ingredients, so the softer-than-soft organic cotton, eco-friendly dyes and water-based inks used to manufacture Bloom Kids Essentials keep it good for the environment and great for your kids – with comfort, sustainability and style to boot. Less chemicals equals healthier bodies, after all.

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Mummy’s Miracle


All-Natural Baby Skincare Miraculous for Baby’s Sensitive Skin

Mummy’s Miracle is an all-natural line of skincare products like no other. The handcrafted and sustainably-produced baby products are the first to use Moringa oil.

What is Moringa Oil?

Moringa oil comes from the seeds of Moringa Oleifera tree, which grows in Africa and parts of Asia. Rich in phytonutrients and anti-oxidants, moringa oil offers a variety of benefits when used in skincare, such as skin purification for an anti-aging, healthy glow. Its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties help skin heal, and its fresh fragrance and moisturizing power makes it an ideal hoice for use as a natural hair cleanser for all ages.

“For years, I searched for a toxic-free skincare regimen for myself and my babies but found none,” says Ify Chuke-Nwobi, founder of Mummy’s Miracle, which she formulates in 2010 after she discovers the power of Moringa. “The more I learned about the harmful chemicals in synthetic cosmetics, the more passionate I became about bringing conscious consumers a natural alternative that actually worked.”

After making her own body creams and oils that combine a cocktail of essential oils, Ify starts using her “potions” on herself and her children – with remarkable results: their skin retains its smoothness, softness and suppleness. It even glows.

“I found my potion so moisturizing and hydrating, I had to find a way to help other mums who were looking for a natural and safe alternative,” she says. Ify collaborates with a chemist and together they create a moisturizing, soothing and hydrating formula with botanicals featuring the miracle Moringa seed oil, known today as Mummy’s Miracle.

Mummy’s Miracle is the world’s leading natural Moringa-based skincare line that includes wash and shampoo, lotion, ointment, oil and vapor rub for baby as well as products for Mom like anti-aging Moringa oil, stretch mark lotion and nipple balm.

Mummy’s Miracle products are made from all-natural ingredients, including the best Moringa seed oil there is, raw honey, shea butter and purified water, as well as essential oils, vitamin E and more, depending on the product. The fast-growing company follows stringent production standards to ensure the products are completely all natural and free from any chemicals or other pollutants. They always put the customer first.

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CURATE @ Children’s Club


Children’s Club débuts CURATE, an elevated showcase for global children’s wear collections.

Children’s Club returns to New York’s Jacob Javits Center August 5-7 with a selection of the best children’s brands in the market across newborn to age 12, layette items, fashion accessories, footwear, toys and gifts.

This August, the show débuts a new destination that highlights the most elevated children’s collections from the SS’19 season, re-imagines the show floor to offer a new perspective of the kidswear marketplace and will serve as the destination for retailers to engage with the most innovative designers in children’s fashion.

“Our mission for 2018/2019 is to build the momentum behind the children’s wear market and unify the children’s community on both a domestic and global scale. The launch of CURATE is the first step in developing more aspirational neighborhoods that continue our mission to reimagine the children’s market,” VP and Brand Director Shawn Hazan says. “The area will offer our retailers a platform for exploration, discovery and networking with an elevated selection of well-merchandised brands. We’re launching Curate with over 45 internationally-inspired collections, an unprecedented representation for Children’s Club.”

A “neighborhood” at the entrance to the show, the new CURATE @ Children’s Club features as well-known brands from Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Romania, United Kingdom, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, The U.S., Canada and Turkey: 3 Pommes, KENZO, Lil’ Lemons by For Love and Lemons, Petite Coco and Tartine et Chocolat. In addition, actress and lifestyle expert Haylie Duff will also be at the show with brand, Little Moon Society.

More new things at the August edition of Children’s Club:

FRESH @ Children’s Club – In response to retailer request, Children’s Club is proud to feature over 100 new, emerging and never seen before collections at market.

The Classroom @ Children’s Club – In response to conversations with both brands and buyers, Children’s Club launches The Classroom, an ongoing educational experience designed to address hot topic items impacting the children’s retail community.

UBM Fashion and Children’s Club

In June 2018, UBM Fashion combined with Informa PLC to form UBM Fashion, a leading B2B information services group and the largest B2B event organizer in the world. Children’s Club, the international exhibition featuring every category of children’s clothing from newborn to age 12, layette items, fashion accessories, footwear, toys and gifts, is now organized by UBM Fashion.

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Get Up and Go!


pediped® collaborates with The Nik Naks to encourage summer adventures for kids.

This summer, award-winning children’s footwear brand pediped® is collaborating with The Nik Naks on an original song and music video that encourages kids to enjoy summer adventures.

The original song “Get Up and Go” follows the adventures of two friends as they take a trip guided by their own imaginations. Equipped with pediped’s shoes from the Adventure Line, they are prepared to explore any terrain, from distant planets to their own backyard. The music inspires children to stay active and explore the world around them. The water-safe, rugged and machine-washable shoes in pediped’s Adventure Line, which has 11 new styles for 2018, are ready to go wherever exploring feet can take them.

The full “Get Up and Go” video can be viewed on www.pediped.com/theniknaks and the song or full album can be downloaded on TheNikNaks.com. Purchase of the album includes a credit on pediped.com equivalent to the cost.

Las Vegas-based musicians Sam Lemos and Jean-Francois are the duo The Nik Naks, the band that imagined this music-based multimedia project appealing to both parents and their children. As dedicated fathers, their combined passion for both music and family life inspired them to expand into the world of kids’ music. Both Sam and Jean-Francois are songwriters, multi-instrumentalists and professional musicians. Their professional credits include playing with Boyz II Men, Cirque Du Soleil, Matt Goss and Noel Gallagher. They are also involved in many original projects in the burgeoning Las Vegas music scene.

The pediped® Spring/Summer 2018 Adventure Line is now available for purchase online at www.pediped.com and in select retail stores.