By Maura Regan
On June 6, K.I.D.S – Kids in Distressed Situations – will be honoring Maura Regan, Sesame Workshop’s Senior Vice President and General Manager, Global Consumer Products, at their annual Women in Industry Luncheon.
Throughout Sesame Street’s history, we’ve seen the power that our characters have. When children interact with Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Elmo and the gang, their faces light up and even a bad day can turn around quickly. And while a gently used item can elicit the same effect, there’s something special about a brand new toy, shirt, or similar item. Knowing that this is yours – and only, and always yours – carries a bit of extra weight.
A few years ago, a friend in my professional network introduced me to an organization called K.I.D.S. – Kids in Distressed Situations – which provides new, in package items to children in need around the globe. Even in our own backyard, we’ve seen this need pop up; for example, when Hurricane Sandy struck the Eastern Seaboard, thousands upon thousands of children found their foundations shaken. As active members of our communities, both Sesame Workshop and K.I.D.S. look for ways to help. And like Sesame Street, K.I.D.S. goes in with solutions, not just ideas.
The nuances of the retail world result in a significant amount of product – all new, never used – which goes unsold. Sometimes those items sit in warehouses until they eventually become unusable or are otherwise destroyed. But K.I.D.S works with licensees and others in the retail supply chain to get those products into the hands of children like those affected by Sandy, and for free. Their work is done with immediacy, and they are able to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children.
Sesame, also being an organization which is committed to empowering the lives of children, is glad to be working with K.I.D.S whenever we can. In fact, they may be honoring me, but the true honor is ours.