The Toy Foundation Supports Mattel in Delivering Compassion and Play to Improve Pediatric Care

The Toy Foundation, alongside Mattel, will reflect on the Children’s Hospital Play Grants Program at the Toy of the Year Awards in Dallas

August 30, 2022 | A hospital stay can be an unbearable time for a child and their family but a compassionate atmosphere with access to play can help create a comfortable and healing environment for all. With the generous support of the toy industry, The Toy Foundation (TTF) continues to bring the healing power of play to children in hospital settings through its Children’s Hospital Play Grants program.

At the Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards on September 20 in Dallas, Texas, Mattel will serve as the Presenting Sponsor of the Children’s Hospital Play Grants program and, alongside TTF, reflect on the work accomplished and what’s yet to be achieved. The TOTY Awards are a key fundraiser for TTF and its programs, where the industry is invited to attend the event, learn more about the program, and pledge a donation.

Mattel provides the power of play through the Mattel Children’s Foundation which has supported UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and its Department of Pediatrics for more than 35 years. The hospital offers children and families a cheerful and reassuring environment that is updated with whimsical murals, children’s art, photos, stories, and more. Most recently, with support from Mattel, the hospital’s play center was remodeled to include a life-sized Barbie Dreamhouse, Hot Wheels garage and track, and a Fisher-Price Little People toddler play area.

“We know that play is one of the most powerful ways we can positively impact children’s lives,” said Nancy Molenda, executive director for Mattel Children’s Foundation & Philanthropy at Mattel. “We are committed to providing access to play in all types of environments, especially in tougher situations like a hospital stay. A play experience like racing your Hot Wheels car around the track can do wonders for lifting the spirits of kids going through difficult times.”

To address the social, emotional, and developmental needs of each child, UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital Chase Child Life Program is staffed by child life specialists who work with the children and their families to overcome difficult milestones during a hospital stay or treatment period. Its playrooms and teen rooms are free of medical equipment and are instead filled with toys and other play activities for the kids to play, laugh, and just be kids.

“The toys that Mattel provides to us are so much more than toys,” said Kellye Carroll, director of the Chase Child Life Program. “They are the tools we use to help kids cope with their hospitalization.”

Similar to Mattel’s philanthropic work with pediatric patients, The Toy Foundation has distributed funding to children’s hospitals throughout the U.S. to offer opportunities for play where they may have otherwise not been available. Most recently, these play activities include offering sensory toys, virtually led play activities for kids to partake in from their hospital room, and developmentally appropriate toy activity kits.

“Grant funding and toy donations are critical to delivering play-related projects that can help relieve stress and have a positive impact on a child’s well-being,” said Pamela Mastrota, executive director of The Toy Foundation. “We’re proud to partner with Mattel and other industry leaders to help further our Children’s Hospital Play Grants program and have a greater impact in serving and supporting children.”

The TOTY Awards will take place on September 20, day one of The Toy Association’s 2023 Preview & 2022 Holiday Market at the Dallas Market Center. Visit to register for tickets.

For more information about The Toy Association’s Preview & Holiday Market, visit

To learn about The Toy Foundation’s work to provide the power of play to children in need, visit