Last year, in support of the LGBTQ+ community, IKEA redesigned their classic blue FRAKTA tote as a rainbow flag.This year, they are not only bringing back the tote, but they are adding a smaller version which can be used every day. A portion of the sales from these limited-edition Pride-themed reusable bags will benefit the Ali Forney Center of New York City and the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

Rainbow tote

To help raise funds and awareness for both centers, IKEA U.S. launched the new, limited-edition STORSTOMMA Rainbow lunch bag ($0.99) and will donate 30% of the retail price from each sale to the centers, up to $50,000 per charity between Jun. 1, 2020 and Aug. 31, 2020. This donation is in addition to a $25,000 in-kind donation to each organization (a combined value of $150,000). The charitable partnership is dedicated specifically to providing affordable housing solutions, shelter and support services for homeless LGBTQ youth and seniors.

“At a challenging time when much of the country and the world must self-isolate, it is important to recognize the meaning of the word ‘home,’” said Rafael Fantauzzi, Country Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer at IKEA U.S. “Unfortunately, for many LGBTQ individuals facing discrimination, stigmatization and isolation, the four walls of a house are not always a ‘safe space.’ That’s why we’re committed to creating a more loving, accepting world – because everyone deserves to feel at HOME, every day, everywhere.”

Rainbow tote

Beyond the emotional need, there is also a real physical need. Studies find that LGBTQ individuals are especially vulnerable to homelessness, with LGBTQ youth in the U.S. being 120% more likely to face homelessness. LGBTQ seniors are another vulnerable group, with one-third of U.S. LGBTQ seniors living at or below the poverty level. Partnering with established non-profits such as Ali Forney Center and Los Angeles LGBT Center takes the campaign a step further by helping to address both critical physical and emotional needs of housing insecure LGBTQ youth and seniors.

“In a time where people are being asked to stay home, I am filled with gratitude that IKEA is helping us to provide a sense of home for our homeless LGBTQ youth,” said Alexander Roque, Executive Director of the Ali Forney Center. “It is during these unprecedented times that the true value and commitment of our community partners is most punctuated and most desperately needed.”

“The IKEA campaign is a perfect fit for the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s ongoing work to end homelessness and provide affordable housing for our LGBTQ youth and seniors, who are some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Center CEO Lorri L. Jean. “The need for these critical resources has only increased under the COVID-19 pandemic, making support from our partners like IKEA more crucial than ever.”

Consumers can purchase the limited-edition STORSTOMMA lunch bag ($0.99) or the large STORSTOMMA bag ($2.99) at IKEA-USA.com.

—Jennifer Swartvagher

All photos courtesy of IKEA

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