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'Be a Secret Santa' with Sleep Train

Program helps children in need
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Each year, mattress retailer Sleep Train collects gifts and toys for California’s more than 60,000 foster children who are separated from family and friends. Many children enter foster care just before the holidays with only the clothes on their backs and aren’t guaranteed to wake up with a gift under the tree. Whether it’s a new baby doll, a Lego set, art supplies or even a gift card, these gifts can mean the world to a foster child.

This year, Sleep Train is raising the bar on its efforts to capture donations during a season when many other charities are also seeking support to ensure no child wakes up without a gift. Sleep Train is hosting the “Be a Secret Santa Photo Contest” on its Facebook page to help boost awareness of this need and harness the power of social media to encourage and incentivize participation.

Through Dec. 9, individuals and businesses are encouraged to embrace the spirit of Santa and drop off donations of new, unwrapped gifts to any Sleep Train store. While in the store, donors should snap a photo of themselves playing Santa as they place the new, unwrapped toy in the foster kids bin and post their photo to the “Be a Secret Santa” Facebook page. Participants will compete by getting friends and family to vote on their photos, and at the end of the contest, the photo with the most votes will win a new Kindle Fire HD and a pair of Tempur-Pedic slippers.

Sleep Train hopes this social promotion will increase donations by at least 10 percent this year and is encouraging its 24 foster organization partners to share the opportunity to give with their supporters.

“This can be an especially difficult time of year for foster children to be away from their families, said Robert Favelo, vice president of foster care and adoption services at EMQ FamiliesFirst. “Ensuring foster kids have a gift to open that is theirs to keep adds that magical feeling back into their holidays and makes it less stressful for foster families. Social media has been an incredibly powerful tool in reaching out to our community and garnering support. We’re excited to see the Sleep Train Secret Santa contest inspire community members of all ages to donate to local foster children.”

Drop off new, unwrapped toys and gifts at any Sleep Train store, or donate online and Sleep Train’s “holiday elves” will do the shopping for you. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/sleeptrain.