DALLAS–Dec. 16, 2014–“The snow is falling and friends are calling yoo-hoo. Come on, it’s lovely weather for giving gifts together with you.” Wanting to support local communities and those in need during the holiday season alongside their national product launch, Animalz by ReTrak partnered with three organizations in California, Minnesota and Texas. Through these efforts, Animalz provided headphones to more than 120 families and an elementary school, so each could enjoy the latest technology while also protecting little ones’ ears.

“We’re so excited to have been afforded such wonderful, gift-giving opportunities throughout the holiday season,” said Scott Ledbetter, CEO, Emerge Technologies, the parent company of ReTrak. “To us, technology like our headphones is a gift that keeps on giving by providing families and children in need with tools to enjoy life, improve education and share memories!”

Kidd’s Kids

With both Animalz and Kidd’s Kids headquartered in Dallas, the company decided it was the perfect match for the organization’s 22nd annual trip to Walt Disney World®! The primary goal of Kidd’s Kids is to provide children who have chronic or terminal illnesses or are physically challenged with an unforgettable adventure. Throughout the year, the organization works hard to raise the funds necessary to send these special kids on an all-expenses paid, fun-filled vacation. Through this partnership, Animalz donated and sent 200 headphones to the 60 attending families for each of the kids and their siblings to use throughout the trip and to take home. Additionally, Animalz showed physical support by attending the Kidd’s Kids Send-Off Event in Dallas on Nov. 20, in which they joined several radio stations, television shows and other partners in celebrating each of the kids’ journeys and building momentum for the upcoming week.

“Oh, I love them. I want the whole set for Christmas! It’s cool that they are retractable, and that they are fluffy because they feel good on your ears,” said 8-year-old Jake Wigley, a 2014 Kidd’s Kids participant.

“Thank you so much for participating in Kidd's Kids. Emerge Technologies and ReTrak were part of something indescribably beautiful and unforgettable in our lives,” said Kelly Wigley, father of Kidd’s Kids participant, Jake Wigley.

Lakeview Elementary School

Lakeview Elementary School computer teacher Arden Leali-Broberg in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, knew that having a dedicated pair of headphones for each child in her classroom would make a better and more effective learning environment. In order to help students who are unable to provide their own, Leali-Broberg set out to crowd-fund her project with a goal of purchasing 30 headphones. Recognizing that its product was a perfect fit for elementary-aged children in a computer lab, Animalz connected with school and PTO officials to coordinate a donation of 30 headphones in a variety of Animalz designs for the Lakeview Elementary classroom – meeting Leali-Broberg’s need in full.

“With a set of headphones at each computer, every student will now have the opportunity to listen fully to the lesson, participate completely in the assessments and even just use the headphones to cancel noise so they can work on their projects better,” said Leali-Broberg. 

Signing Mrs. Claus Story Time

Led by owner and instructor Joann Woolley, Sign4Baby offers sign, play and learn classes, workshops, and private lessons to help parents and babies in the San Diego area effectively incorporate baby sign language into daily communication. Research shows signing is beneficial for promoting brain development and early learning as well as helping to establish pre-reading skills. Beginning in 2011, Sign4Baby established an annual Signing Mrs. Claus Story Time event. Since, the events have grown to 10 locations, entertaining more than 1,000 families with holiday concerts, raffle drawings and more! Signing Mrs. Claus Story Time offers a unique holiday experience for both hearing and hearing-impaired children as well as their families. Through a blogger partnership, Animalz was afforded an opportunity to join the events by donating 10 sets of headphones to be included in raffle giveaway baskets at each event.

“Music is a big part of my baby sign language classes, so I think Animalz headphones are of great value to the moms — and really cute!” said Woolley.

As featured in CNET’s 2014 “Digital Stocking Stuffers Under $50,” the Animalz headphones are perfect for kids whether at home, school or on-the-go. The headphones feature a built-in 3.2-foot retractable cable that comes with a gold-plated 3.5 mm connector that is universally compatible and works with most portable devices and volume-limiting technology with a maximum of 85 decibels, the optimal amount for ear protection!

Animalz are available at more than 15 U.S. retailers including®, Best Buy® and Toys“R”Us®.  For a full list, visit: *Panda and shark designs are exclusive to Best Buy through March 2015.