Play is at the very core of development and learning, yet around the world too many children do not have access to play. We believe in the time to play, a place to play, access to tools for play, and ensuring we all understand the power of play.  Because play is an essential part of life for everyone, the people of Mattel are committed to making the world a more playful place.

Playing To Grow

“The beauty of ‘12 Days of Play’ is that it joined Mattel resources together to make an incredible positive social impact. This new mindset is about inspiring people to think beyond the framework of individual giving.” -- Deidre Lind, Executive Director of Mattel Philanthropy Program

In December 2010, Mattel employees took a new approach to how the company celebrates the holidays at El Segundo headquarters. The idea was simple: focus the combined passion and energy of Mattel employees by using PLAY to make a difference in lives of underserved children during the holiday season. Working with organizations that serve children, team-building volunteer events were created to make a meaningful difference through the simple joy of play, and it took shape as the “Mattel 12 Days of Play.”

Mattel created a variety of volunteer events, including six “winter wonderlands” in Los Angeles (with snow and sledding), working at the local food bank, building a home for a family through Habitat for Humanity and granting wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses. Gift-wrapping rooms were also set up for team “wrapping parties,” where Mattel employees could stop by during the workday and gift wrap toys to be donated to local children in need.

Employees across the company embraced the opportunity to volunteer together and demonstrated the power of play. With volunteer participation rates estimated at more than 90 percent at El Segundo headquarters, Mattel estimates it positively impacted the lives of 20,000 children in Los Angeles County by bringing them the joy of play – not only through toy donations, but through personal interaction with Mattel employees.

The 12 Days of Play grew beyond Mattel headquarters, as employee volunteer events took shape in global Mattel locations, including Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Venezuela, Chile,
Australia and Spain.

As the driving force of Mattel’s philanthropic culture, Mattel PLAYers have displayed their passion and spirit of giving for years, and the 12 Days of Play upped the ante by marking an important shift in Mattel’s corporate culture.